Police in Washington, D.C., in the wake of Dallas shootings that left five officers dead, seven more wounded and two civilians injured, didn’t take any chances Friday and called for a brief lockdown of the Capitol building in order to – at least according to Twitter posters at the scene – search out an individual reportedly carting a gun.
As Twitter sources wrote, shortly after 9 a.m.: “Capitol just placed on lockdown, a booming voice tells us over the intercom.”
And another: “Lockdown is being announced in the US Capitol.”
Yet one more: “We’re currently locked in the House chamber. Overheard a Capitol police officer say a woman entered Rayburn with a gun.”
The news broke shortly after 9 a.m. But by 9:45 a.m., the lockdown was lifted and operations were back to normal – though the reasons for the alert weren’t completely clear.
As ABC News put it: “The Senate sergeant at arms issued a lockdown alert for the building and visitor center, saying police activity has been reported. Capitol office buildings are open. Capitol police say they are searching for an individual but offered no details.”
An interesting Twitter thread offered more clues.
From @KatherineBScott’s feed: “‘No one knows where she is. She could be anywhere,’ – Capitol police officer, word for word re: woman with gun.”
A few minutes later, she retweeted this message: “From sources: Woman in print dress was in Rayburn. Had backpack. Was going to Capitol thru underground subway when cops believes [six] she had gun.”
She shortly after tweeted: “We’re over a half hour into this lockdown. Doors to the House chamber remain locked.”
And then by 9:45 a.m., this tweet: “Lockdown has lifted. We’re allowed to leave the House chamger and re-enter the press gallery.”
And another: “Overheard on radio: ‘Lockdown has concluded. Return to normal operations.'”
It’s not clear if anyone was arrested, or if the reports of a woman carrying a gun were false.
But the tense moments came on the heels of a sniper shooting in Dallas that left five police officers dead, seven more wounded, and two civilians hurt. One of the snipers, just before he died in a shootout and stand-off with police, reportedly vowed more violence was coming.
As Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters, in reference to the suspect who ultimately died: “The suspect that we [were] negotiating with that has exchanged gunfire with us … has told our negotiators that the end is coming, and he is going to hurt and kill more of us, meaning law enforcement. And that there are bombs all over the place in this garage and in downtown.”