US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself

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Raw: US Capitol on Lockdown After Shots Fired

WASHINGTON (AP) - A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.

The man died after shooting himself on the west front of the Capitol building just after 1 p.m., Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said. No one else was hurt.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the man had a backpack and a rolling suitcase, triggering an hours-long lockdown, and a sign that said something about "social justice."

Robert Bishop of Annapolis, Maryland said he was biking near the steps of the Capitol when the suicide happened.

Bishop didn't witness the suicide but said there were about 60 people in the area, and that some of them did, including a girl and her mother who immediately began crying afterward.

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US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
Members of the bomb squad responds to reports of a shooting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. Shots were fired near the steps of the US Capitol leading to a lockdown of the building, police said, adding that the threat had been 'neutralized.' US Capitol Police told AFP that the shooting took place on the western side of the building and that officers are investigating a suspicious package on a nearby terrace. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Capitol Police block the streets around the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Police say the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as a precaution after shots were fired in what appears to be an attempted suicide. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: U.S. Capitol Police officers stand outside the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill, April 11, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the Capitol was on lockdown after shots were fired and a suspicious package was investigated. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, a person suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: A member of an unidentified bomb squad team investigates near the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill, April 11, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the Capitol was on lockdown after shots were fired and a suspicious package was investigated. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, a person suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
US Capitol Police use a bomb sniffing dog at a parking lot as they respond to reports of a shooting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. Shots were fired near the steps of the US Capitol Saturday leading to a lockdown of the building, police said, adding that the threat had been 'neutralized.' US Capitol Police told AFP that the shooting took place on the western side of the building and that officers are investigating a suspicious package on a nearby terrace. Police did not provide details on the shooting, but said a 'threat' had been 'neutralized.' AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: District of Columbia fire and hazardous materials truck sit parked outside the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill, April 11, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the Capitol was on lockdown after shots were fired and a suspicious package was investigated. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, a person suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 11: A U.S. Capitol Police officer talks on his phone near the west front of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill, April 11, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the Capitol was on lockdown after shots were fired and a suspicious package was investigated. According to the U.S. Capitol Police, a person suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A member of the bomb squad responds to reports of a shooting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. Shots were fired near the steps of the US Capitol Saturday leading to a lockdown of the building, police said, adding that the threat had been 'neutralized.' US Capitol Police told AFP that the shooting took place on the western side of the building and that officers are investigating a suspicious package on a nearby terrace. Police did not provide details on the shooting, but said a 'threat' had been 'neutralized.' AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of law enforcement keep watch around the north front of the U.S. Capitol as the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. Police say the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as a precaution after shots were fired in what appears to be an attempted suicide. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider says the suspected shooter was "neutralized" after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It's unclear whether the man is dead. No one else is believed to be hurt.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
US Capitol on precautionary lockdown after man shoots himself http://t.co/w0QQRKGaet http://t.co/v8vOsKUooQ
Main huddle of investigators at #uscapitol #capitol http://t.co/rAU3NtbvEe
Due to lockdown no one allowed to enter or exit the Capitol & CVC. Moving in the bldgs & underground is OK. If you are outside, seek cover.
Per USCP the shots were fired on west front and the threat has been neutralized. #alerts
USCP are continuing to investigate suspicious package. Threat has been neutralized. Thanks for your patience. #alerts
A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols guards the grounds near the U.S. Capitol in Washington Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, ahead of the 10th anniversary Sunday of the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. A man who plotted to attack the U.S. congressional building and kill government officials inside it and spoke of his desire to support the Islamic State group was arrested on Wednesday, the FBI said. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio charges Christopher Lee Cornell with attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States. The Capitol Dome is covered with scaffolding for a long-term repair project. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The north front of the U.S. Capitol is closed and a parameter created with police tape, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. Police say the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown as a precaution after shots were fired in what appears to be an attempted suicide. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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Bishop said another witness told him and a police officer that the man who killed himself held up a protest sign about taxation just before pulling the trigger.

No one was allowed to leave or enter the Capitol or the visitors' center during the lockdown on a busy day for tourists, and some streets around the area were closed.

After being allowed to leave the Capitol, Bishop said he saw authorities taking clothes out of the suitcase the man had.

During the lockdown, about a dozen police cars, black SUVs and an ambulance congregated at the bottom of the west steps of the Capitol, which overlooks the bustling National Mall.

Police appeared to take measurements as bomb squad members searched the area. Nearer the mall, visitors gathered around trying to figure out what was going on.

The lockdown came during Washington's annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which attracts thousands of tourists during Washington's busy season.

Congress has been on spring recess for two weeks and lawmakers are set to return to work Monday.

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Associated Press photo editor Wayne Partlow and writers Amanda Lee Myers and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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