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Spate of violence rattles D.C.'s Union Station

September 12th, 2015 12:30 pm by JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press

Spate of violence rattles D.C.'s Union Station

Police officers stand outside Union Station in Washington on Friday after a security guard shot a man who stabbed a woman inside, District of Columbia police said. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

WASHINGTON — An apparent domestic dispute halted trains at Washington's Union Station and led to momentary fears of a terrorist attack on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

In Friday's outbreak of violence, a man stabbed a woman before he was chased and fatally shot by a security guard.

Neither the man nor the woman has been identified. The man died in a hospital Friday. The woman also was hospitalized, but her condition was unknown.

The commotion frightened commuters who already were wary on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

"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."

Police say there was no apparent connection to the Sept. 11 anniversary.

"Obviously, with this being 9/11, fears were heightened and escalated," D.C. police Commander Jeff Brown said.

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 hit in the side, officials said.

Union Station — home to Amtrak's headquarters — is bigger than the nearby U.S. Capitol, and 90,000 people pass through it 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.

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