Police shot a man on Monday after he pulled a weapon at a U.S. Capitol checkpoint as spring tourists thronged Washington, authorities said. The suspect was previously known to police, who last October arrested him for disrupting House proceedings and yelling he was a “Prophet of God.”
U.S. Capitol Police identified the man as 66-year-old Larry R. Dawson of Antioch, Tennessee. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed, both criminal offenses in the District of Columbia. Reports say that he pulled a pellet gun.
Dawson was taken to a local hospital, where police said he was in stable but critical condition. A female bystander also sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
“We do believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before and there is no reason to believe that this is anything more than a criminal act,” Capitol Chief of Police Matthew R. Verderosa told reporters. He said it was unclear how many officers fired their guns. Initial reports had said an officer was injured but that proved wrong-Erica Werner, AP
According to court documents, Dawson was arrested at the U.S. Capitol in October after he stood up and shouted Bible verses in the gallery of the House chamber. An online court record says he was charged with disorderly and disruptive conduct on the grounds of the Capitol and assaulting, resisting or interfering with a police officer. He was also ordered to stay away from the building and grounds.
Dawson did not return for a scheduled hearing in November. In a letter filed with his case, he says he will “not comply with the court order, nor will I surrender myself unto your office.”
“No longer will I let myself be governed by flesh and blood, but only by the Divine Love of God,” he wrote, adding four exclamation points.
Other court paperwork said Dawson said he was previously in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1971.He was also a funeral director until his license had been pulled due to “lack of morals”. This after he had been fired from Williamson County Schools for writing an inappropriate letter to a 15 year old.