The Illinois State Capitol Building is reportedly on lockdown after a woman was removed in handcuffs from the House gallery. Capitol police called the hazmat team and the fire department.
Shortly after the scheduled 1:30 P.M. start time, a House official announced there would be a delay as the chamber waits for more lawmakers to be allowed into the building. Shortly after, two security guards walked a handcuffed woman through a hallway in back of the House chamber.
The woman who was arrested allegedly threw a white powder substance in Governor Bruce Rauner’s office, the lieutenant governor’s office and the gallery in the House, according to Springfield Fire Department Chief Barry Helmerichs.
“It’s going to slow down any action, that’s for sure,” Helmerichs said.
The Springfield Fire Marshal tells WMBD he estimates the building will be on lockdown for at least another hour.
A total lockdown was put into effect and people inside were instructed to “shelter yourself.”
Comptroller Susana Mendoza is one of the officials not being allowed inside the Capitol. She said she approached a security guard, identified herself and asked to be let in. “He said he would like to allow me in but could not because of a hazmat situation,” Mendoza told the Chicago Tribune.
The lockdown comes as the Illinois House of Representatives were preparing to vote on overriding Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget veto.
Illinois State Capitol Building
The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses legislative and the executive branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois. It opened in 1868.