There was chaos in the U.S. Capitol Complex on Monday when police shot and wounded a suspected gunman in the visitors center.
The entire complex was immediately locked down as police raced inside and terrified tourists ran for cover.
“Police appeared out of everywhere and they were screaming, ‘Run for it! Run for it! Run up that ramp!'” said witness Jill Epstein.
The shooting occurred shortly after 2:30 p.m. after the man set off an alarm while going through a metal detector and “drew what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at a police officer,” Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said.
The gunman was immediately shot by a police officer, Verderosa said. He is undergoing surgery and his condition was not known, the chief added.
No charges have been filed, Verderosa said.
“We believe this is the act of a single person who has frequented the grounds of the Capitol before,” Verderosa said.
Law-enforcement sources identified the suspect as 66-year-old Larry Russell Dawson, from Antioch, Tenn. Sources said he had a realistic looking pistol-type pellet gun.
Dawson was previously charged with disrupting a proceeding of the House of Representatives in October after he shouted about being a “prophet of God,” sources told NBC News. He is also believed to have a history of mental health issues, the sources said.
Tennessee licensing records indicate Dawson is a former funeral director and embalmer.
Verderosa said a female bystander between the ages of 35 and 45 was also injured. He did not say how or what her condition was. Nor did he identify her.
The lockdown was lifted at 3:40 p.m and the “suspect’s vehicle has been located on Capitol Grounds and will be cleared of all hazards and seized,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.