The US Capitol in Washington DC was placed on lockdown on Friday, with staff told to “seek cover” amid reports of an “external security threat”.
News organisations reported emergency vehicles at the scene with one person at least seen on a stretcher. One congressional reporter posted to social media video of a helicopter landing outside the east front of the building. He later reported that it had left.
A DC fire spokesperson told media they were responding to a reported shooting. In a statement on Twitter, US Capitol police (USCP) did not mention shots fired.
The agency said officers were “responding to the North Barricade vehicle access point along Constitution Avenue for reports someone rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers. A suspect is in custody. Both officers are injured. All three have been transported to the hospital”.
The Capitol has been on heightened security alert since 6 January, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt to overturn his election defeat. Five people died as a direct result of the attack, one of them a Capitol police officer who confronted rioters.
Some of the security fencing put up after the attack has recently been removed.
At the White House the press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters President Joe Biden was at the Camp David retreat in Maryland, with a national security team.