OFFICIALS PROBE MOTIVE IN CAPITOL GUN ATTACK.Byline: Alan Fram Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
As the Capitol's flags fly at half-staff in mourning, investigators are trying to learn how and why a gunman burst into the national landmark A National landmark is a site identified by a national authority as one possessing nationally–significant natural, historic, or scientific resources. Typically, it identifies an isolated site and not a landscape or complex of sites better suited to management as a national and killed two police officers before being shot and captured.
The suspect, identified as Russell E. Weston Jr., 41, of rural Rimini, Mont., was being held under heavy guard at a hospital after surgery for gunshot wounds, and charges were pending.
He had been investigated by the Secret Service two years ago ``as a sort of a low-level threat'' to President Clinton, said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
About 17 hours after the brief but lethal gunfight in the tourist-packed building that also wounded a tourist, the Capitol was due to be reopened today, a tribute to its tradition as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
``This is a terrible incident that's transpired here at the nation's Capitol,'' said Sgt. Dan Nichols, spokesman for the Capitol police Capitol police in the United States are agencies charged with the provision of security police services for various state agencies, but especially State Legislatures. Capitol police may function as part of the state police or may be an independent agency. . ``But we don't want that to dissuade TO DISSUADE, crim. law. To induce a person not to do an act.
2. To dissuade a witness from giving evidence against a person indicted, is an indictable offence at common law. Hawk. B. 1, c. 2 1, s. 1 5. anyone from coming to the nation's Capitol and experiencing this great building and having access to their government.''
Killed were Jacob Chestnut Jacob Joseph Chestnut (April 28, 1940–July 24, 1998), one of the two United States Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1998, was the first African American to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol. Chestnut is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. , 58, and John Gibson John Gibson is a common name, shared by:
The wounded tourist was identified as Angela Dickerson, 24, who was reported in serious condition at George Washington University George Washington University, at Washington, D.C.; coeducational; chartered 1821 as Columbian College (one of the first nonsectarian colleges), opened 1822, became a university in 1873, renamed 1904. Hospital with facial and shoulder injuries. Authorities withheld her hometown.
The shootings occurred at 3:40 p.m. EDT EDT
Eastern Daylight Time
EDT Eastern Daylight Time
EDT n abbr (US) (= Eastern Daylight Time) → hora de verano de Nueva York
EDT Friday with the House still meeting and the Senate having just recessed for the week. They were the Capitol's first since 1954, when four Puerto Rican Puer·to Ri·co
Abbr. PR or P.R.
A self-governing island commonwealth of the United States in the Caribbean Sea east of Hispaniola. nationalists in the visitors gallery of the House opened fire on lawmakers. A bomb exploded outside the Senate one night in 1983, leading authorities to tighten security the first of several times over the last 15 years.
Hours after the incident, investigators were seen shining flashlights on the floor of the vestibule vestibule /ves·ti·bule/ (ves´ti-bul) a space or cavity at the entrance to a canal.vestib´ular
vestibule of aorta a small space at root of the aorta. where the shooting began, just inside an entrance on the Capitol's east side. Small, square, white markers were scattered over the floor, apparently marking where shell casings had fallen.
A security camera was operating in the vicinity of the shooting and presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. captured the episode on tape, said two officials speaking on condition of anonymity.
Many questions remained, such as the suspect's motivation, which officers shot him and how the tourist was injured in·jure
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.
2. To cause damage to; impair.
3. . Nichols said Capitol officers decide whether to wear bulletproof Refers to extremely stable hardware and/or software that cannot be brought down no matter what unusual conditions arise. See industrial strength.
bulletproof - Used of an algorithm or implementation considered extremely robust; lossage-resistant; capable of correctly vests, but did not make clear whether Chestnut and Gibson were wearing any.
Lawmakers and Capitol officials insisted that despite the casualties, the incident underlined a security system that managed to keep any of the hundreds of legislators and aides in the building from being shot.
``This was not fault of security,'' said Rep. William M. Thomas, R-Bakersfield, in a quavering voice. ``It was an individual who was determined to blast his way into the Capitol. He did not succeed, thanks to two officers who gave their lives.''
Thomas said the gunman entered the building but walked around the metal detector just inside the entrance.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. several sources, Chestnut asked him to go back through the detector but was shot instantly with a .38-caliber handgun. A second officer stationed inside the door fired at the man, who ran a few feet around the corner and through a private entrance to a suite of offices occupied by House Republican Whip Tom DeLay of Texas.
There, Gibson confronted him, and the two men exchanged fire. They were found lying just a few feet from each other, said one Capitol official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
``I looked to my right and saw a guy with a gun,'' said Justin Brown, who works at a souvenir stand just a few feet from where the shootings occurred. ``The first thing I thought was, `Duck.' . . . When I looked up I saw the officer with a hole in his chest.''
In the minutes after the shootings, the building's hallways and marble stairways were clogged with tourists whom the police were evacuating. Aides were advised to lock their offices after initial worries, apparently unfounded, that a second gunman might be loose in the building.
Officers and onlookers filled the Capitol's huge, blacktop-covered eastern plaza as ambulances roared into action. A U.S. Park Police helicopter landed to fly one of the wounded officers to a hospital.
Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a heart surgeon, raced from his office to the scene and helped treat two people. He rode to the hospital in an ambulance with one of them. ``I was really focused on keeping their heart and lungs going,'' he said.
President Clinton telephoned House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., after learning of the shootings. Gingrich also spoke by phone with Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., who had left the Capitol minutes before the attack.
Gingrich issued a statement calling the slain officers ``true heroes of democracy,'' and later visited their families.
PHOTO (1--Color) Police officers console each other Friday after a gunman killed two men at the U.S. Capitol. The shooter was captured at the scene.
Mary Calvert/Washington Times
(2) A Capitol Police officer stands guard at the U.S. Capitol on Friday after a shooting that killed two.
Khue Bui/Associated Press
(3) GUNMAN: Russell E. Weston Jr.
(4) John Gibson
(5) Jacob Chestnut