Police: Nashville man shot after drawing pellet gun at US Capitol

Larry R. Dawson is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed

Larry Dawson was named as the suspect who pulled a gun, later found to be a pellet gun, at the U.S. Capitol Complex (courtesy: Facebook).
Larry Dawson was named as the suspect who pulled a gun, later found to be a pellet gun, at the U.S. Capitol Complex (courtesy: Facebook).

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee man from the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville has been identified as the person involved in Monday’s shooting at the U.S. Capitol.

According to the United States Capitol Police, Larry R. Dawson is accused of drawing a weapon while attempting to enter the security screening area of the Capitol Visitor Center around 2:40 p.m.

The 66-year-old was shot by police and is currently in stable but critical condition at a Washington DC hospital. It’s unclear at this time how many officers fired or how many times Dawson was shot and where.

He has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed.

Law Enforcement and rescue vehicles are seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016, after a U.S. Capitol Police officer was shot at the Capitol Visitor Center complex, and the shooter was taken into custody.
Law Enforcement and rescue vehicles are seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 28, 2016 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).

News 2 learned just before 10 p.m. Monday that weapon was a pellet gun, possibly a BB gun, that resembled a real one.

The incident led to a total lockdown of the Capitol as both staff and visitors were told to shelter in place.

Capitol Police also said Dawson’s car was secured and will be searched after a search warrant is granted.

News 2 did some digging and found Dawson’s address in Antioch is the same for St. Luke’s Community Church, whose website lists Dawson as the pastor.

Neighbors told News 2 they don’t know of any actual church, and were shocked as they learned of Dawson’s alleged involvement in the Capitol.

“I was devastated, because I would have never dreamed that he would be involved in something like this allegedly, and that he would be hurt,” Anthony Hopkins told News 2.

Hopkins added, “This really scares you when something like this happens, because this is not local, this is pretty much global.”

A man who neighbors said was Dawson’s son-in-law was outside the house Monday but would not comment on the shooting.

On the self-proclaimed pastor’s church website it also states he has been to Washington three times last year to ask Congress to approve a higher minimum wage, a “movement” he says he is fighting for.

According to CNN, Monday was not Dawson’s first time at Capitol Hill. The 66-year-old was issued a “stay away order” by the D.C. Superior Court in October 2015 following an outburst in the House of Representatives chamber.

CNN says he “…loudly stated to Congress he was a ‘Prophet of God,’” during that incident.

Larry Dawson (Photo: WKRN)
Larry Dawson (Photo: WKRN)

News 2 also found our very own Andy Cordan interviewed Dawson exclusively back in 2003 and was the only news station there when he was arrested by Franklin police for allegedly writing inappropriate letters to an underage girl.

The situation began in 2002 when he wrote a letter to the girl, then 15 years old, reportedly referring to himself as a prophet of God, saying the young girl was chosen to be his wife and bear his baby. The letter also allegedly said he was willing to do something daring and even fight for the girl.

Dawson, who was driving a school bus in Williamson County at the time, was charged with harassment. That charge was dropped on the condition he did not contact the girl for one year.

However, the Antioch man is accused of writing another letter of a similar nature to the same girl–one year and one week later. Dawson was charged with two counts of harassment in the second incident, both of which he was found “not guilty — reason of insanity,” according to a criminal history report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

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