Two US Capitol police officers injured in suspected car attack

Two police officers were injured after a car was driven into them outside the US Capitol on Friday, officials said, sparking a major security lockdown.

The driver is said to have emerged from the vehicle with a knife. He was shot by police, according to US media.

Capitol Police say that someone “rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers” and that a suspect was taken into custody.

At least one officer was in serious condition, while the driver was in critical condition, according to the Associated Press.

A video shared on social media appeared to show a stretcher removing the officers from the area and a helicopter landing in front of the east side of the Capitol building.

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.

Fencing that prevented vehicles from entering the area was recently removed as the Capitol started to open up after the riots.

Neither the House or Senate is in session this week, with lawmakers back in their home states over the Easter break.

However, a voice announcement in the complex said: “Due to an exterior security threat, no entry or exit is permitted at this time in any building in the Capitol complex.”

“You may move around the buildings but stay away from exterior windows and doors.”

President Joe Biden had left to spend the holiday at Camp David shortly before the incident occurred.

The car's crumpled bonnet

The car’s crumpled bonnet

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said there is a member of the national security team, an acting chief of staff and a member of the press team travelling with him, as is standard operating procedure.

Tourists were escorted away from the area after the incident, and the national guard was called in to bolster security.

The car appeared to be a dark sedan. It was cleared after being searched for explosives and it is understood that there is no other threat from the vehicle.

The incident is the latest security alert in Washington DC.

On March 17 police arrested a Texas man outside vice president Kamala Harris’s official residence, the US Naval Observatory, after a rifle and ammunition was found in his car.

Police said Paul Murray, 31, a veteran from San Antonio, Texas was in possession of a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.”

Police reports said he was in possession of  “AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, 113 rounds of unregistered ammunition, and five 30 round magazines”.

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