A man calmly walked up to the Pentagon's screening area on Friday and suddenly opened fire at the metro station entrance, wounding two police officers before being shot and critically injured, officials said.
The incident that happened at 6:40 p.m. local time Thursday (0510 IST Friday) forced the US military headquarters to be put under security lockdown. The unidentified man -- with "no real emotion in his face" -- approached the officers outside the Pentagon Metro station, Pentagon Police Chief Richard S Keevill was quoted as saying in the US media.
"As the officers started to ask him for his pass to get into the Pentagon, he drew a weapon from his pocket and started shooting" from a few feet away, Keevill told reporters. The two officers of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency retaliated with their semi-automatic weapons and the suspect, thought to be a US citizen, was critically wounded, Keevill said. "He did not say a word." All three were rushed to a local hospital. In a statement, Pentagon said that the entrances were locked briefly, but all were reopened with the exception of the Pentagon Metro entrance.
The suspect was injured in return fire from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officers," the statement said.
The injuries to the two officers "do not appear to be life threatening," it said, adding that the suspect was "in custody and his condition is unknown."
The Metro station is a major transportation hub for bus services into suburban northern Virginia and is crowded during the evening rush hour.
Lisa McDonald, a spokeswoman for George Washington Hospital, was quoted as saying by the CNN that three people were being treated there -- both officers and the suspect.
The US Secret Service and the FBI were both involved in the investigation, officials said.
The attack came four months after a deadly assault on the US Army's Fort Hood in Texas base allegedly by a military psychiatrist. PTI