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US Capitol lockdown ends after 40 minutes

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The United States Capitol was placed under a lockdown for about 40 minutes on Friday morning, possibly due to a gun on the campus.

The lockdown was lifted at about 9:40 a.m.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) told The Hill that a staffer was seen in the building with a firearm.

A second lawmaker added the firearm made it past security, where metal detectors and police officers routinely screen anyone coming into the Capitol or the handful of connected office buildings.

Capitol staffers were told during the lockdown to go into an office room and “close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows.” People were prevented from entering or leaving the Capitol Building and the adjacent visitor’s center.

The House briefly gaveled into session and then gaveled out during the lockdown, as lawmakers sheltered in place in the chamber.

The closure on Friday morning came as lawmakers and the public were still grappling with news that five police officers were killed in Dallas hours before.

In March, the Capitol scrambled into action when a 66-year-old Tennessee man allegedly approached the visitor’s center wielding a firearm and pointing it at officers. The man, Larry R. Dawson, was shot by police and later taken into custody and charged with assault.

Jonathan Easley and Scott Wong contributed 

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