Capitol Hill Suspect is A Pastor Who Once Demanded Teen Student Marry Him
The Capitol Hill shooter has been identified as 66-year-old Tennessee Pastor Larry Russell Dawson.
Chaos erupted on Monday when Dawson pointed what turned out to be a pellet gun at police officers at the Capitol Hill Visitor’s Center and was shot. He is now in hospital.
It has since emerged that Dawson has a troubled past.
In 2001, when he was a school bus driver, he was charged with harassing a teenage student, even demanding she marry him. He was ruled insane and unfit to stand trial.
Last October, he disrupted a session of the House of Representatives and shouted from the balcony: “I am a prophet of God!”
Dawson, who claimed to be campaigning for a higher minimum wage, was banned from Capitol Hill after he was removed from the House by the Sargent-At-Arms.
On Monday afternoon, he appeared to point a weapon at police and was shot. A female bystander also suffered a non-life-threatening injury.
The U.S. Capitol and the White House went into lockdown with tourists, many of them schoolchildren and officials ordered to shelter in place.
Dawson has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed, police said. He remains in critical condition in hospital and will be brought to court to respond to the charges once he is well enough, authorities said.
At a press conference on Monday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said: "We believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before, and there is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act."
The Washington, D.C. Police Department tweeted:
There has been an isolated incident at the US Capitol. There is no active threat to the public— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 28, 2016