WASHINGTON (AP) – A man stabbed a woman and then was shot by a security guard at Washington’s Union Station on Friday, sending people fleeing outside as trains were briefly stopped and officers converged on the massive transit hub.
“I saw people running, and I just started running. It sounded like it was right next to me,” said Ursula Lauriston, a 28-year-old magazine editor who was ordering lunch at Jamba Juice, one of dozens of restaurants and shops in the station. “… People were completely confused as to what was going on, and no one knew whether to run or hide.”
The incident came on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but police said there was no apparent connection between the two.
“Obviously, with this being 9/11, fears were heightened and escalated,” D.C. police Commander Jeff Brown said. But officials said they believe the incident was the result of a domestic dispute.
The security officer – a private security guard associated with the Securities and Exchange Commission, across the street from Union Station – saw the man stabbing the woman and chased him, police said. The man turned and pointed the knife at the security guard, lunging at him, according to police. The guard fired one shot, and the man was wounded in the side, officials said.
Both the man and the woman’s injuries were believed to be non-life-threatening, police said. Their identities were not yet released.
Union Station – home to Amtrak’s headquarters – is bigger than the nearby U.S. Capitol, and some 90,000 people pass through each day. Flags on the towering poles outside the station’s main entrance were flying at half-staff Friday in remembrance of 9/11.
Lauriston said that once she was outside the station, she felt “that need to capture the moment.” She snapped a photo of people fleeing and tweeted it. She said she’s relieved that police suspect a domestic dispute is to blame.
“I thought it was a terror act just because Union Station would be a prime location for something like that,” she said.