Capitol Shooting
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  •   From the Shootings to the Investigation Police officers/TWP
    These Post stories retrace events related to the fatal shooting of two U.S. Capitol Police officers on July 24, 1998. A national display of mourning over the slayings of the officers started in the Capitol Rotunda and ended with their burials at Arlington Cemetery. Also, follow the ongoing investigation into the motives and illness of suspect Russell E. Weston.

    Investigation | Shooting | Aftermath | Tribute | Burial

    The Investigation

    Capitol Suspect Ruled Incompetent
    A federal judge found Capitol shooting suspect Russell Eugene Weston incompetent to stand trial. The judge ordered Weston to a federal correctional facility for psychiatric treatment in hopes that he could stand trial at a later date.

    Court Hearing in Capitol Slayings
    The man accused of killing two U.S. Capitol Police officers made his first court appearance, still in a wheelchair and wearing two casts while he recovers from bullet wounds suffered in the July 24 shootout.

    Weston's Parents Win Delay in Testimony
    The family of the man charged in the shooting deaths of two Capitol police officers won a delay in testimony to a grand jury that could indict their son.

    Westons Ordered to Testify
    Federal prosecutors surprised the parents of Russell Eugene "Rusty" Weston Jr. and other relatives with subpoenas during their first visit with the wounded suspect, ordering them to appear before a grand jury.

    Before the Shootings, a String of Excesses
    Before he headed east and was charged with killing two police officers in a deadly assault at the U.S. Capitol, Russell Eugene Weston Jr. spent most of his time on simple projects in the Illinois woods which he first obsessed over, then abandoned.

    Family Can Visit Weston in Hopsital
    Relatives of alleged Capitol gunman Russell Eugene Weston Jr. got a judge's permission yesterday to visit him at D.C. General Hospital, clearing the way for their first meeting with him since his arrest on murder charges.

    Capitol Suspect Too Sick to Appear
    Alleged U.S. Capitol gunman Russell Eugene Weston Jr., who was shot four times by police and remains shackled to a bed at D.C. General Hospital, needs more surgery and will be physically unable to appear in court for two to three weeks.

    Therapists to Evaluate Suspect in Hill Killings
    Attorneys for Capitol gunman Russell Eugene Weston Jr. have won court approval to have him meet with a psychiatrist and psychologist at D.C. General Hospital, where he is recovering from bullet wounds.

    Hill Leaders Press for Visitors Center
    House and Senate Republican leaders agreed Wednesday to move ahead with plans to construct a visitors center to help improve Capitol security.

    Prosecutors Seek Clues to Weston's 'State of Mind'
    Investigators are trying to build a case that Russell Eugene Weston Jr.'s alleged assault on the U.S. Capitol was a premeditated criminal act, documents and sources indicated.

    Weston Case 'Fell Through the Cracks'
    Russell Eugene Weston Jr.'s sudden descent into violence might have been prevented by a mental health system better equipped to monitor patients.

    Montanans Struggle With Reputation
    Montana has been in the spotlight for its militia movement, the arrest of Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski – and now the rampage at the Capitol.

    Security Measures to Get Another Look
    The U.S. government uses a "patchwork quilt" of security practices that need review, said a commissioner at the General Services Administration.

    Suspect's Family, Apologizing to Nation, Recalls His Ailing Mind
    Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Russell Eugene Weston Jr. usually ignored pleas that he visit the doctor, relatives said in an interview.

    Former Mental Patient Charged With Murder in Capitol Rampage
    Russell Eugene Weston Jr., ordered held without bond, has slipped into critical condition; doctors say he has only a "50-50" chance to survive.

    A Troubled Mind Drifts to Violence at the Capitol
    Russell Eugene Weston had very little to call his own – an old red Chevy pickup, a modest monthly government disability check – but his mind was full of grandeur.

    Shots Revive but Are Unlikely to Reshape Gun Debate
    Friday's Capitol incident may spark another effort to pass some limits on guns, but "no law is going to stop a crazed person," a senator said.

    Family, Neighbors Describe Suspect as Suspicious of Government
    Russell Eugene Weston Jr. believed the government was spying on him and was on a Secret Service list of potential threats to the president.

    Debate on Access vs. Security Is Renewed
    Security has tightened in recent years, but Congress has always struggled to balance the public's right to access to its national symbols with its own need for protection.

    From Newsweek:

    • A Loner's Odyssey
      Rusty Weston was the latest in a series of deranged loners who have lashed out at society, as if killing government officials or research scientists or innocent bystanders would somehow assuage their inner demons.

    • Slipping Past Security
      Weston was on the Secret Service's master list of 25,000 people. But could anything have stopped him?

    • A Different Kind of War
      Our foes used to be armies; today they're the ideologues and the drifters in our midst.


    Shooting

    Two Police Officers Killed in Shootout at Capitol
    A gunman opened fire July 24 in the U.S. Capitol, killing two Capitol Police officers and injuring a tourist in a terrifying exchange of fire.

    Sound of Gunshots Shatters the Capitol's Calm Facade
    In an instant, the pop-pop-pop of gunfire pierced the hush of the Capitol, where the high ceilings usually turn the constant clatter into muffled echoes.

    Shooting Disrupts the Normal Tourism Ritual
    Out-of-towners expecting to gawk at the monuments in the nation's capital instead found themselves bit players in a scene out of an action movie.

    Two 'Extremely Good' Officers Lost Their Lives to Save Others
    Capitol Police Special Agent John Gibson and Officer Jacob J. Chestnut were hailed by lawmakers and colleagues as "true heroes of democracy."

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    For Police Chaplains, It Was a Week of Grief
    It has been a terrible week for the ministers. First was the funeral for a D.C. police officer killed by a colleague. Then came Friday.

    Senator-Heart Surgeon Treats Shooting Victims
    Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a heart surgeon, sprinted from his office and treated two men, intent on keeping "their hearts and lungs moving."

    Aftermath

    Surviving Victim Describes Capitol Shooting
    Angela Dickerson broke her silence Thursday, recounting the fateful visit to the U.S. Capitol that transformed her from anonymous tourist to bit player in history.

    Capitol Keeps a Stiff Upper Lip as Life Goes On
    The tourists lined up by 9 a.m., as if restoring the routine of the Capitol, one of Washington's most visited sites, provided a measure of solace.

    Many Are Touched as the Drama Unfolds
    The bullets that flew in the Capitol twisted hundreds of lives together for a few frenzied and tragic hours. The Post reconstructs the incident.

    Deaths Leave Two Families in State of Shock
    When John Gibson and Jacob J. Chestnut died in the hospitals where they were rushed, their families' lives were irrevocably changed.

    A Sense of the Inevitable and a Resolve to Keep Congress Open
    Members of Congress recall feeling resignation to the inevitability of such an act in an age of seemingly random violence.

    Attack Stirs Interest in Visitors Center, but Money Is a Problem
    Though security officials have long advocated a visitors center at the East Front of the Capitol, many lawmakers have balked at funding the project.


    Tribute

    President and Public Honor Capitol Heroes
    Two slain U.S. Capitol Police officers were venerated by the nation's leaders and thousands of people who marched somberly into the Rotunda.

    Many Express Thanks, Support for Hill Police
    With two of their number murdered, the U.S. Capitol Police were getting shoulder squeezes, handshakes and hugs.

    Capitol Begins to Honor Dead; Suspect's Condition Improves
    Washington prepared a tribute to officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John M. Gibson as the suspect in the U.S. Capitol shooting continued recovering.

    In Congress, Tributes Take Priority
    Lawmakers face a crushing workload before Congress adjourns on Aug. 7, but the Capitol shooting has prompted them to put business aside.

    Slain Officers' Bodies to Lie in Capitol Rotunda
    Congress will pay an unprecedented honor to the Capitol Police officers Tuesday. Meanwhile, the suspect's condition was upgraded to serious.

    Burial

    A Week of Sorrow Comes to an End
    A week of ceremony, cameras, cards and flowers and sympathetic words from the president of the United States had passed, and the family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut was left alone with its grief.

    Chestnut's Family Mourns, Prepares for Service
    A week of ceremony, cameras, cards and flowers and sympathetic words from the president of the United States had passed, and the family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob J. Chestnut was left alone with its grief.

    Escorted by a 14-Mile Cortege, Gibson Is Laid to Rest
    On freeway overpasses, they waved tiny flags as the long cortege passed. On the road below, they pulled over and climbed out of their cars. On the streets of a grieving capital, small children were hoisted onto their parents' shoulders to watch this last journey of a hero they never knew.

    On Roads, Awe Instead of Anger
    Washington area drivers decided to take traffic jams and delays in stride Thursday as they pulled onto the shoulders of busy interstates and sat patiently on blocked city streets to watch the cortege roll by.

    Paying Respects to the Two Who Paid the Price
    Public mourning over the slayings of two U.S. Capitol Police officers turned to private sorrow Wednesday as family, friends and colleagues of slain Detective John M. Gibson remembered him in silent prayer.

    Officers' Funeral Processions Likely to Snarl Area Traffic
    The funeral procession for slain U.S. Capitol Police Detective John M. Gibson will be at least 12 miles long as it travels a 35-mile route from Prince William County to Arlington National Cemetery.

    Therapists to Evaluate Suspect in Hill Killings
    Attorneys for Capitol gunman Russell Eugene Weston Jr. have won court approval to have him meet with a psychiatrist and psychologist at D.C. General Hospital, where he is recovering from bullet wounds.

    Surviving Victim Describes Capitol Shooting
    Angela Dickerson broke her silence Thursday, recounting the fateful visit to the U.S. Capitol that transformed her from anonymous tourist to bit player in history.


    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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