Transcript for Reports of Gunshots on Capitol Hill, Suspect Believed 'Neutralized'
-- Susan BBC news special. Good afternoon from ABC news headquarters here in new York and become on the air at this hour after reports of the US capitol has been put on a security lockdown. You're looking at live pictures right now constitution avenue and here's what we know so far. Sources telling ABC news that there are initial report someone tried to ram the gate at the White House and then fled to Capitol Hill where there -- -- shots fired. It is unclear who fired those shots but as you can see there is significant. Police presence at this hour and a number of emails have gone out alerting. -- folks on Capitol Hill and at the Supreme Court to stay inside and I want to bring in. Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Celanese who reports on Capitol Hill force in -- you talk with your sources what are they telling you. Well David we've talked to three senators who witnessed these shootings they were standing. Outside the US capitol building around the Dirksen senate office building to give you some perspective just about a block across the street from the US capital. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. Very calmly told us a few moments ago he heard at least three shots fired. Senator Sherrod Brown was also walking there he said he heard more police officers told these senators to get down. Under vehicles nearby. May eventually made their way back into the US capitol would stated it is on lockdown we are on the senate side of the capitol a lot of police activity outside. And senior senate aides are telling ABC news that. One capitol police officer. Was shot not confirmed that the senior center data is telling us that David so a very active scene here. At the moment again reiterate that point we -- we believe that one person has been shot just. A senior senate aide told me a short time ago that they believe -- one capitol police officer was injured was shot and in this police activity we do not know the severity of that but that's what -- sent an -- very high level source here told me just a few moments ago David. And we believe that we have the sound of that now giving details of this possible officer shot the reports coming in late this -- were on the air let's take a listen. You've probably heard shots saw a lot of police cars then we heard shots. And then the police told us to go back we are simply -- -- after -- -- -- seasons and I. -- -- -- -- It's -- and shots -- -- in the police told us and we were walking and we welcome kind of building -- We were not yet we're in the grassy area slate walkway where people park and in the tolls to -- online tools come back to get behind cars. -- Nobody. -- just doesn't happen on Israeli and Anderson since. In the grass and -- towards. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- just a taste of the chaos at the capitol at this hour that was senator Sherrod Brown -- describing the shots fired a number of witnesses. A hearing those shots fired outside the capitol it's believed. That this might have started at the gate in front of the White House someone trying to ram that gate and then driving on -- Capitol Hill again. You're watching ABC news live coverage that shot as -- constitution avenue where there is significant police presence at this hour. We are learning from our sources right now that there could be a suspect. Could be a suspect reported dead on the scene that is just coming into -- someone to turn to Jon Karl -- at his post at the White House. And John before we came on the -- you were telling me of some that. Yet let me explain David where this happened according to these reports. This is not really a gate to the White House it is a vehicle barricade. On fifteenth and Pennsylvania Avenue -- street and Pennsylvania Avenue it's right in front of the treasury building which as you know sits right next to the White House. And as we understand the vehicle ran into this barricade. And then there was -- pursuits. We are we are told unclear exactly how long -- pursue was were told it was a short pursuit. And that vehicle is the one that ended up up there on the capital on the senate side they're on constitution avenue where -- -- activity where. Those shots were fired what we've been noticing here at the White House -- first of all. The White House grounds -- on a lockdown which means we are not allowed to leave nobody else is allowed to come on to the White House grounds and we've seen. Capital -- Secret Service police cars and motorcycles going back and forth -- there. With their -- -- but but it looks like in this is a precautionary step. In the wake of their of of what was that. You know some kind of vehicle hitting those hitting those guards hitting those barricades. I should point out -- That happens from time to time here at the White House it doesn't necessarily mean somebody is trying to break in they've had died in the past drunk drivers are coming -- hit those barricades. And you know always creates some kind of an incident this obviously. -- -- -- -- Jon Karl our chief White House correspondent talking about how he is not allowed to leave the White House grounds now on lockdown just felony reporting in from the capital. From his post where there on lockdown as well security lockdown some of the images coming in in addition to what you're looking at right there you can see a sniper right there. On the capitol grounds. Certainly -- very tense afternoon unfolding on Capitol Hill and -- notice that went out from the US capitol police advising everyone. By email on this is the -- here to close law can stay away from external doors and windows. The notice in fact says that gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill there are unconfirmed reports. Of an officer injured as you heard from -- Celanese a short time ago I want to bring in our senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas who joins us. On the telephone and obviously is a very quick moving investigation here. That's right -- we've just heard from our law enforcement sources. We're being told that the FB IA yep and all law enforcement officers are responding to the capital -- based on. Report a -- -- And shots fired we also are getting -- got -- from sources that based suspect. May have been shot. And maybe. Neutralize at to -- I would try to get additional information on that but the information visit the car chase ended in a confrontation that -- suspect. Female describe to our store -- workers as a female the new -- Just to bring everyone up to speed who might be joining us now you're watching our live coverage here on ABC this afternoon at some tense moments playing out on Capitol Hill. Reports of a car ramming into one of the gates and from the White House as you heard John call report there those kinds of disturbances are. Entirely uncommon what is is the fact that the shots were fired this -- then. Headed for the capital. Outside the Dirksen building as we were showing -- their moments ago that map and that's where there were additional shots fire exchanged with Capitol Hill police there are. Reports that perhaps at least one officer was injured and as you -- Pierre Thomas report their moments ago. But a possible suspect perhaps the driver of that car a female has -- said. Could be neutralize which is a law enforcement term there is a report that that person could in fact be dead. Obviously this all has to be pieced together and confirmed by authorities who are working this on the scene you saw the notice that went out almost immediately. Not only to Supreme Court to quash the street at the capitol. At the white. Elsewhere Jon Karl was reporting in telling everyone to close law can stay away from their doors to stay inside he saw hints. From senator Sherrod Brown their moments ago of the chaos inside the capitol. -- just give you an idea this all comes. As -- the government shut down plays out on Capitol Hill tensions already high political tensions because of the ongoing struggles between Republicans Democrats and the White House. About what they're going to do to move past that shut down the American people course caught in the middle. Obviously no word on whether or not this person who might have -- -- the -- to the White House did so because of tensions all over this country about which party might be at fault for this. But clearly this comes at a time of heightened tension on -- 100 back in just selling who -- additional reporting Jeff you were checking with your sources. Who confirm to you that they heard the shots themselves. They did in these three senators we normally talk some about policy things but David they were eyewitnesses to the shots three senators. Shaken but calm describing the situation here but I can report Q now a government shutdown means the capital is not nearly as crowded as it. As a -- was before but the capitol police have been in. Full authority here as many of them are here as ever and they were running through the hallways of the capitol when we first heard these reports. They ran into the sergeant -- ran into the senate chamber. Making sure that that situation was. Was OK but these three senators did witnessed this but right now David things are getting back to normal little bit we just received a notice that there is an all clear. -- -- on one side of the capital the lockdown is no longer in place there are so it would appear if these reports are right that to the situation is getting under controlled. And that's what I'm hearing as well -- of the house side of the capitol complex is now operating as usual no longer on lockdown mode -- Told that if the Supreme Court they're not calling a lockdown but they certainly aren't letting anyone enter or leave the building we are close they say. At this hour until the situation. Can be determined as to what in fact has played out of -- check -- and one more time when Jon Karl our chief White House correspondent. Who is at his post John what can you tell us from there. Well one of -- important facts here one is that the marine guard is at the entrance to the west wing of the White House as you know David what that means is the president is here in the Oval Office at work. And on the other side looking outside the gates from from my vantage point. I see the Secret Service presence by also see a number of turns in Lafayette park there were -- continuing threat here. At the White House rest assured that entire park would have been cleared so someone getting back to normal. Here at the White House even though for the time -- anyway we're not actually allowed to leave give us an idea jungle where that -- is in relation to where you're standing. Well it's about a block and a half way it's it's it's not so much -- -- is a vehicle barricaded stands in front of the treasury building. Which is -- a mammoth federal building next to the White House so it's a good you know it's a good distance from the White House like and I can see it. From here and see where that -- is aware that barricade is but it's not directly in front of the White House that's not really an entrance of the White House even if you got through. That barricade you would still have to drive over a block to get to it's -- -- White House itself we showed the image of that sniper earlier John wanted to show our audience who tuning in now to our coverage of shots fired on Capitol Hill that's believed to be a marked. But Secret Service car there in in that image of some of the images coming in people are tweeting about this in and obviously in real time which is. As these events unfold now in this the day and age of social media but what we know is that a short time ago there were reports that a driver inside a car. Tried to ram that entrance as Jon Karl points out in front of the White House then continued in that car. To Capitol Hill where there were then not only reports of shots fired we've -- witnesses including. Senator Sherrod Brown their moments ago talking about the shots fired outside the capital to notices that went out immediately by email. For everyone to stay inside their offices part of the capital. They are still on under security lockdown it's believed although they might not be calling it that the Supreme Court still closed at this hour. As the investigation continues we heard from Pierre Thomas or senior justice correspondent we -- check back in with him. We will on this a fast moving investigation what we believe. Is the situation at this point is that perhaps one officer might have been injured in that shooting. And that perhaps perhaps the suspect inside that car a female it's believed. Might have been targeted by officers responding to the scene. We have to model on the phone with us now also part of -- White House team and Jim what can you -- as we look at pictures right now coming -- obviously security hovering over the capital right now though. Washington monument there in the distance as as we watch that helicopter in the sky just just part of the scene unfolding Jim. Yes they would understanding. Just exit the Russell. Senate Office Building which is about a block from the main part of the capital itself its capitol -- On the way here first and constitution. Which begin another block away is where I saw one at least one that Secret Service. Marked police car that over -- I'm told that that was because he was responding code three lights and siren up to the capital because of that reported shots fired. As he was responding. Well what other people one of the people running the the barriers here -- -- imbedded in the street. Well with the -- here -- that area. So the officer who was who was driving the car at high speeds should that barrier and went up into the air. And came down -- first that officer -- entered and taken away. By the by ambulances we did not know the condition that. As far as -- shooting inside if there was one I don't have any direct information about it just tell you that on the outside. Police are quite nervous they have they're now put Perrier barriers around the capital at least a block -- and apple way I saw at least a hundred. Capitol police officers come out. And -- pushing. Onlookers away including the press away and there is oh complete lock down on the capitol building itself know going in or going out. You -- an officer Rick but it you know he gets -- you mention the officer shot and injured we don't know the condition have you heard anything about the possible. A driver of that car the condition of her. No in fact nobody here is speaking whatsoever none of the capitol police there's no information being given out official information being given out. The only information coming from eyewitnesses. And the only eyewitness -- I was able to speak to so far. Were eyewitnesses to the accident of the Secret Service agent on the way. To the fire -- report of what the -- fired I don't know anything -- David about exactly what went on in the capitol building itself. And if it if anybody was injured inside there. To model part of -- White House team -- my thanks to you. As the situation continues to unfold we're getting word that right now over the loudspeakers. The senate office buildings right now they're saying shelter in place order has been canceled. Which obviously will ease some of the tension there on Capitol Hill this afternoon after several of the senators and their aides -- A some of them actually witnessing the shots being fired -- want to bring in Jeff selling to confirm this point the full capital now reopened Jeff. That's right we heard that a few moments ago over the loudspeakers all clear. And it is showing on our screens here it says it's now safe to resume normal activities so just to clarify one point there were no shots fired. Inside the capitol building they were outside the capitol building between the capital and those senate office buildings that it is all clear. Inside the capitol on both sides and all the office buildings. Our up from lockdown David. I want to bring in Jon Karl one more time at the White House and John and Compton part of the White House team also. Describing the barriers on the street outside the White House where this. Played out and any word on President Obama where he is at this hour and what the White House how they're responding to this -- I'm sure they're following this. As we -- to. -- no question about that it all David the -- the president is in the Oval Office we know that because the marine guard is. At his post in front of the west wing also that locked down I told you about -- has now been lifted here at the White House. So folks who work at the White House including those of us in in the press are allowed to come and go now looks like we're rapidly -- getting back to normal here. And -- paint a picture if you will obviously it's far too early to understand why someone would do this what their motivations might have been but we do know the -- -- been playing out. On Capitol Hill at the White House there in the last 24 hours members of both sides of congress huddled with the president still at an impasse over this government shut down. So the political tension already ratcheted up on Capitol Hill. Because there's no doubt about that and and we don't know what was behind this but the bare facts of it do you know we know that this vehicle. Rammed into the vehicle barricades. -- tension the White House grounds the White House complex. And then when the pursuit happen with Secret Service when after that vehicle. Went right up Pennsylvania Avenue you know the very. -- that that did the president's inaugural parade takes off from the White House up to the capitol building. And that's where that altercation happened with the shots fired. There. On Capitol Hill. We have no idea what this person's motivation was what was going on but obviously it does happen. -- Adam time of very high tension here in the capital very high. Political -- Jon Karl thanks to you want to bring in our senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas following the investigation and again. Here it's believed one suspect involved so far. Again our guidance is a female. May have been neutralized in the -- cracked or -- police fire would try to get clarity on that I think is. Back the -- -- the all clear that means that law enforcement believes that they have to. Largely under control -- they will do what they're still checking -- to make sure there are no additional suspects. But this is starting to -- -- -- Obviously there was a report earlier a source telling ABC news that that suspect might in fact be dead. We do not know if that has been confirmed at this hour clearly -- pointing out that the suspect might be neutralized which is the word they -- from. Law enforcement sources you saw the chopper their flying over the capital we saw a moment ago. A member of the Secret Service their car flipped over while in pursuit of the driver who was head of the capital. And -- mullah part of -- White House team on the street there reporting in on what he's witnessing at this hour let's check back in the gym. But they but I heard don't know all the reports that that that the capitalist reopen I can tell you that it's not reopened and hurt the sport. Police are still surrounding the capital they -- not allowing anybody inside. Perhaps airline people move around inside the capitol this point but it still cordoned off on the street itself I'm standing in front of about. I would say thirty to forty armed police officers some of -- carrying rifles -- -- -- Semi automatic rifles. In the none of them are allowing just across the street to go to the capitol the normal -- So well. It may be calming down a bit so far the capital from the outside -- is close -- -- certainly Pierre Thomas our our our senior justice correspondent here they would not be opening up that part of the capital fold or or. Lightening up on this shut down had they not been certain they have the suspect at least in custody at the very least. -- that typically law enforcement procedure again. What -- -- described it will do some additional checking around that. Building perimeter just to make sure nothing else is going -- But again the fact that you're allowing some movement in the building suggests that the suspect. They either haven't caught me or have cornered the -- we just don't have clarity on that just yet but. Sources are telling their that the suspect has been -- -- again -- got -- it's it's it is a female. All right some tense moments playing out in the nation's capital this afternoon and -- 7 minutes past 3 o'clock here in the east just to recap. Our live coverage here on ABC news reports of -- driver. A ramming either a barricade or a driver's entrance at the White House. This afternoon that there were then gunshots fired outside Capitol Hill where it's believed that driver then headed next after the White House. A source reporting to ABC news that that suspect could be dead and at the scene neutralized as Pierre Thomas -- law enforcement sources telling him. There was a lockdown at Capitol Hill emails going out to all of the senators and a representatives on Capitol Hill and their aides to stay inside that's now been lifted -- W purge -- -- to report there if you're outside the capital on the streets in Washington. It's still. -- the scene of a locked down though there might not calling might not be calling that they're not letting traffic through were people passed through torture looking right there. I just wanted to patrol cars that answered the scene. And you can see. The results of that that chase. But as -- points out they would not be lifting this lockdown on Capitol Hill had they not believe they have that suspect at the very least in custody and of course reports. The suspect could perhaps -- be dead. We will have complete coverage on abcnews.com. Throughout the afternoon and the entire team will be reporting on world news with Diane so we're coming up later this afternoon right here. I hope you join Diane in the team and until then I'm David -- right here in New York. -- -- This has been a special. -- -- --
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