A Gunman Opens Fire at U.S. Capitol Building, Killing Two Police Officers

The United States Capitol shooting incident of 1998 was an attack on July 24, 1998 which led to the death of two United States Capitol Police officers.

Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut were killed when Russell Eugene Weston Jr. entered the Capitol and opened fire. Chestnut was killed instantly and Gibson died during surgery at George Washington University Hospital but not before wounding Weston, who survived. Weston's exact motives are unknown, but he does suffer from a mental disorder and maintains a strong distrust of the federal government. He remains in a mental institution due to paranoid schizophrenia and has yet to be tried in court.

A gunman burst through a security checkpoint in the U.S. Capitol yesterday afternoon and killed two Capitol Police officers in a terrifying exchange of fire that sent panicked bystanders diving for cover in the majestic marble building known around the world as a symbol of America and democracy.

One woman nearby was also hit in the fusillade, which ended with the wounded gunman captured in the office complex of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. No motive was known immediately for the assailant's actions, which convulsed the Capitol at a time when tourists were swarming through and Congress was still in session. The shootings were the first in the Capitol in 44 years, and the worst since Congress convened in the building in 1800.

A gunman who had been investigated by the Secret Service burst into the Capitol this afternoon, officials said, and killed two police officers in a corridor shootout that left a tourist and the gunman lying wounded as terrified bystanders darted for cover.

Without uttering a word, the intruder stormed past a weapons detector at an East Front entrance about 3:40 P.M. and immediately opened fire, mortally wounding a Capitol Police officer on guard duty and setting off a gun battle by the office suite of Representative Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican and majority whip.

As the first officer, Jacob Chestnut, lay dying, Mr. DeLay's plainclothes Capitol Police guard, Special Agent John Gibson, drew his weapon and intercepted the intruder a short distance into the building. As screams and gunfire reverberated through the halls of power, Agent Gibson suffered mortal wounds before the gunman was brought down in a burst of a score or more bullets.