Capitol shooting suspect: 'Raise the minimum wage'

The Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after a shooting incident at the Visitor Center. (ABC7 file)

WASHINGTON (ABC7) -- As life returns to normal around the U.S. Capitol, we are learning more about the man police say entered the visitor center with a gun and ended up being shot.

Despite two suspicious packages creating brief scares, being around the Visitor's Center Tuesday felt like a regular day. If you didn't know the Capitol was on lockdown the day before, you likely never know. And the I-Team learned the man police say caused that lockdown had a message and he was on a mission - to raise the minimum wage.

Larry Dawson of Tennessee has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault of a police officer while armed. Yesterday, police say he entered the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center with a gun. The 66-year-old was shot and taken to the hospital where at last check, he was in stable but critical condition.

According to his website, Dawson is the minister of St. Luke's Community Church near Nashville, Tennessee. In a video on the website, Dawson says he is taking a journey to D.C. to push for a $15 minimum wage. He then asks for help in the form of credit card donations.

But this is not the first time Dawson had been to D.C. In a C-SPAN video you first saw Monday afternoon on ABC7, Dawson shut down a U.S. House session in October by shouting that he was a "prophet of God."

He was then removed from the chamber and charged with unlawful contact and assault on a police officer. Court papers show the judge filed a "stay away order" barring Dawson from the U.S. Capitol.

ABC7's sister station in Nashville reported that Dawson was a funeral home director for 30 years. He also worked as a bus driver before being fired for writing inappropriate letters to a student. That led to reports that a judge committed him to mental institution.

We did call and leave messages with Dawson's church and his D.C. based attorney who represented him concerning his October incident. Neither returned our calls.

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