Man who brought gun to US Capitol faces assault, weapons charges

A police officer stands guard at the US Capitol complex in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2016 after reports of shots fired.
A police officer stands guard at the US Capitol complex in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2016 after reports of shots fired.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The armed man shot by police at the US Capitol visitor centre has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed, officials in Washington said on Tuesday (March 29).

US Capitol Police said the suspect, Larry Dawson, 66, remained hospitalised in critical but stable condition, and is due to appear in court upon his release.

Dawson, who underwent surgery Monday, was shot by police after he entered the Capitol visitor centre brandishing a weapon, setting off a panic in a city on heightened alert after the Brussels attacks.

No officers were injured in the incident, but a female bystander suffered minor injuries and also had to be hospitalised.

Monday's disturbance led to an hour-long lockdown on Capitol Hill and other nearby federal buildings, where staffers and frightened visitors were ordered to shelter in place.

Congress is in recess this week for the Easter holiday, but the visitor centre was filled with tourists visiting the US capital city during the Easter holiday.

News reports said Dawson was charged in another disturbance last October at the Capitol.

He was charged at the time with assaulting a police officer and unlawful conduct, but failed to turn up for a court hearing. A warrant for his arrest was issued in November, media reports said.