A police officer was injured and the U.S. Capitol and neighboring government buildings went into lockdown Thursday afternoon after gunshots were reported fired on Capitol Hill, according to multiple news reports.
News reports said a suspect had been apprehended, apparently after a car chase that began near the White House.
The Capitol building was placed on lockdown just before 2:30 p.m., according to the Associated Press. It was lifted less than an hour later.
Patch was unable to immediately reach the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), Sen. Chris Murphy (D) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) for comment and automatic email messages replied to say that some of the employees were out on furlough.
But Esty, who represents Farmington in Connecticut's Fifth District, tweeted that she safe.
"Lockdown has been lifted. Staff and I are safe," she tweeted. "Thank you Capitol Police for all you do to keep us safe today and every day."
Murphy tweeted just after 3 p.m. that he "was just off the Senate floor when we were locked down."
Thank you to the Capitol Police for your vigilance and keeping us safe every day," he added.
Blumenthal tweeted around 3:30 p.m. to say, "Everyone on my staff is safe. Thanks to Capitol Police and law enforcement who acted swiftly and bravely to protect all in danger."
The shooting unfolded after police chased a black car up Constitution Avenue toward the Capitol, tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah, who walked toward the scene as the car stopped, told the AP.
"Then I heard the gunfire" and hit the ground, he said.
CNN reported the injured officer was air-lifted to the hospital.
Initial reports were of multiple gunshots fired near the Senate Hart Office Building, and people were seen running from it, CNN reported.
Scenes of roads closed and dozens of police cars and other emergency vehicles were strikingly reminiscent of the scene just a short distance away, at the Washington Navy Yard, where 12 people were gunned down and killed less than three weeks ago.
In Thursday's incident, Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly was standing on a balcony of the U.S. Capitol with Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania when they heard two bursts of gunfire coming from the direction of the Rayburn Office Building, The Washington Post reported.
“It was almost like two very rapid fire bursts, very loud,” Connolly told the Post. “They were clearly coming from the direction. That’s when we saw people fleeing, and we realized this was no fireworks. It sounds liked the first volley of a 21 gun salute.”
He said he could see people fleeing from the Rayburn building and police officers running toward it before he was shepherded back into the building. Connolly told the paper he was told by the Sergeant-at-Arms that a suspect has been apprehended.
Capitol Police sent out the following advisory to staffers:
"SHELTER IN PLACE. Gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill requiring all occupants in all House Office Buildings to shelter in place. Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, Go Kits and escape hoods; and move to the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows. If you are not in your office, take shelter in the nearest office, check in with your OEC and wait for USCP to clear the incident. No one will be permitted to enter or exit the building until directed by USCP. All staff should monitor the situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available."
Farmington Patch Editor Jessie Sawyer contributed to this report.