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Utah's members of Congress safe after gunfire erupts near Capitol

Utah's members of Congress and their staffers are safe after gunfire erupted in a car chase near the Capitol. Authorities say a woman in a black sedan, with a child as a passenger, tried to hit a barrier near the White House and then ran red lights down Constitution Avenue en route to the Capitol. Police fired shots and the woman's car came to a stop near the Hart Senate Office Building.

One officer was reportedly injured after slamming into a barrier during the high-speed chase.

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Sen. Orrin Hatch's office is half a block from the ending point of the car chase and the Utah Republican, his staff and visitors who were in his suite are fine, his spokesman said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the United States Capitol Police officer who is reported injured, and we wish [him or her] a speedy recovery," spokesman Matt Harakal said. "Every day, the Capitol Police bravely put their lives on the line to protect the Capitol Building, surrounding facilities, and all the members of Congress, employees, and visitors around them, and Sen. Hatch and his staff are forever grateful for their service."

Coming so close to the recent shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, police officers gave stark warnings to those - including this Salt Lake Tribune reporter - who were in the Capitol. The Senate and House adjourned and everyone inside the Capitol complex was told to shelter in place.

Gun-shots couldn't be heard from inside the Senate Press Gallery, though officers, carrying high-capacity rifles fanned out across the East Steps of the Capitol while all TVs in the area flashed the alert and the Capitol Police radio blared warnings.

An all clear was later given.

Thomas Burr


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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