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Security posture on Capitol Hill not changed after shooting
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11:20, July 16, 2009

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U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson Kimberly Schneider told reporters Wednesday evening that the security posture on Capitol Hill is not changed due to the fatal shooting of one suspect happened near Capitol grounds earlier in the afternoon.

There was traffic control near the Russell Senate Building for a brief period when the accident happened, but traffic was reopened shortly after the suspect was gunned down.

"It's an isolated incident", said Schneider. "Everything happened outside (of Senate office buildings)." She said such a fatal shooting by the Capitol Police is "very rare", and the last similar incident happened a few years ago.

The spokesperson said police officers fired at the 35-year-old man in a white Mercedes sedan after he refused to stop during a routine traffic stop, then drove irrationally near blockaded Capitol grounds in an attempt to flee.

"We feel our life is in danger", the spokesperson quoted one of the police officers as saying. Schneider said the officer saw the suspect with a gun before he fatally shot him. Police later located the weapon in the white sedan.

The incident happened at about 5 p.m. eastern time (2100 GMT) near New Jersey and C streets NW on the Senate side of the Capitol, roughly 300 meters from the U.S. Capitol building.

Two police officers were hurt by the fleeing car with only minor injuries. Witnesses at the scene said they heard 5 to 15 gun shots. No question of over-reacting on the law enforcement's part is raised.

Police sealed off the area where the incident took place for further investigation. No ID on the suspect was given.

A fatal shooting happened at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, about 1 kilometer away from the Capitol building, five weeks ago.

Source: Xinhua

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