Police Shoot Armed Man Near Capitol

Posted September 17, 2010 at 7:53am

Updated: 10:52 a.m.

The Capitol Police shot a man Friday just after 5 a.m. after he was seen pointing a gun at officers at Second and C streets Southwest, according to a department spokeswoman.

“The man brandished a weapon directly at officers,” Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said. “Fearing for their lives, officers fired their weapons after the suspect failed to comply with officers’ directions to drop the weapon.”

No officers were injured.

The incident began when two police officers assigned to the truck interdiction point at Washington and Independence avenues Southwest saw an armed man approaching with a gun. As they prepared to confront him, the unidentified man fled.

A lookout for the suspect was broadcast over police radios, claiming he had a gun and listing other identifiable features. Moments later, the man approached two officers at Second and C streets Southwest where he “brandished his handgun, threatening the officers,” according to Terrance Gainer, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

The two officers apprehended the man. The D.C. Fire Department transported the suspect to an area hospital, and his condition is unknown.

“The U.S. Capitol Police officers did a great job,” Gainer said in a news release. “Their alert action prevented injury to others. Our new centurions performed just as they are trained. Interdiction works.”

According to Gainer, the suspect has a criminal record of firearm offenses.

The department is investigating how many shots were fired and whether the suspect discharged his loaded semi-automatic handgun.

Until the crime scene is processed, Second Street Southwest between Washington Avenue Southwest and C Street Southwest will be closed.

The shooting comes at a sensitive time for the Capitol Police.

The parents of a man who was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers last year filed suit against the department last month, alleging wrongful death and requesting $50 million in damages.

Officers shot Kellen White, 27, of Brandywine, Md., at least 12 times on July 15, 2009, during a traffic stop on the 400 block of Second Street Northeast, about two blocks from the Capitol. The incident happened during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Schneider told the Washington Post at the time that White tried to run over two officers with his car, crashed into a police cruiser and fired an assault weapon at officers.

But in the case filed Aug. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Leroy and Thomasine White allege that their son was not armed and his slaying was excessive use of force by the police, resulting in wrongful death.

D.C. police are assisting in the investigation.