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Slain Officers To Lie In Rotunda

Israelis hold banners during a gathering in Jerusalem on Jan. 26, 2006, at the site of a 2002 suicide bomb attack carried out by the Islamic group Hamas that killed 11 people. Hamas, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings, won an outright majority of parliamentary seats in Wednesday's Palestinian parliament elections, and will have a right to form the next Palestinian government.
AP Photo/Oded Balilty
Two Capitol officers cut down in a burst of gunfire will be remembered at a special ceremony Tuesday at the building where they worked and died. Their remains will lie in honor in the Rotunda, where the coffins of presidents and commanding generals have rested.

Capitol Police Chief Gary Abrecht announced plans to memorialize the two "fallen heroes" as the suspect in the shooting, Russell E. Weston Jr., lay in a hospital bed in improving condition.

The coffins bearing the remains of officers Jacob J. Chestnut and John Gibson will be in the Capitol Rotunda early Tuesday and remain there all day, Abrecht said at a news conference outside the Capitol, a few yards from where Weston entered the building Friday afternoon. An afternoon service is planned with members of Congress in attendance.


Rep. Richard Gephardt(CBS)

The slain officers, Jacob Chestnut, 58, and John Gibson, 42, were both married, with three children each. Here is the official address for those who wish to send notes of condolences to the family or contributions to a memorial fund:

  • U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund
    U.S. Capitol
    Washington, D.C. 20515

Sgt. Dan Nichols(CBS)
Capitol Police Sgt. Dan Nichols told Schieffer Sunday morning, "Our hearts go out to [the families]. They're part of our family also."

Russell E. Weston Jr., a 41-year-old loner from Rimini, Montana, has been charged with one count of murdering a federal officer and was to be arraigned in absentia in D.C. Superior Court.

Americans returned Saturday to their bullet-scarred Capitol less than 24 hours after the gunman struck.Click here for a chronology of events.

But it was rainy and cloudy in Washington Sunday, and CBS News Correspondent Phil Jones reported on CBS Sunday Morning that very few tourists were waiting to visit the Capitol, although it was open.

Jones also reported that the alleged gunman has been taken off the critical list, upgraded to serious condition.


Weston's ID Card (AP)

Doctors still give Weston a 50-50 chance of survival, said Jones, but they really think he is going to make it. Their only reason for caution is that they are concerned about internal bleeding that still might be caused by his massive gunshot wounds.

Jones described the mood on Capitol Hill as sad.

"The whole idea that somebody could come into the nited States Capitol - the people's house - and cause so much chaos and such damage is disconcerting," reported Jones.

Apparently, Jones reports, just six hours before the Capitol shootout, Weston was at Lafayette Park - across the street from the White House. He reportedly was "ranting and raving and pointing at the White House and sayingÂ…million of people are going to die because of the people you put in there."

Though the suspect remains hospitalized under heavy guard, and his motives are still unknown, the alleged gunman was prepared to do extensive shooting inside the Capitol. Jones reports FBI agents searched Weston's clothing at the scene, finding additional ammunition in his pockets. Click here to find out more about the alleged gunman.

Before departing on a trip to Norfolk, Virginia, to christen the USS Harry Truman, a solemn president described the Friday afternoon shooting as "a moment of savagery at the front door of American civilization."

He clearly concurred with the decision to reopen the Capitol as soon as possible.

"We must keep it a place where people can freely and proudly walk the halls of our government," Mr. Clinton said. Click here to read the President's remarks.

A tearful House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, delivered the Republican weekly radio address and asked Americans to join him in prayer.

"Please help this country learn to live with its freedom. Please help those who are troubled learn to live peacefully with their problems," said the speaker, a tear running down his right cheek.

The Capitol was bathed in summer sun Saturday. Tourists roamed the grounds and snapped pictures. Click here to read visitors' reactions to the tragedy.

But the shooting left an unmistakable mark.

Two first-floor entrances normally used by tourists to enter the building, including the one used by the gunman, were closed. People could walk by the area, just inside one doorway, where the two officers were gunned down and a female tourist wounded, but the view is blocked by tall, portable screens.


The gunman thwarted tightened security at that entrance to get into the building. Click here for details.

Flags are at half staff, and police wear strips of black cloth across their badges, in tribute to Chestnut and Gibson, both 18-year veterans of the Capitol police force. Click here to learn about others involved in the tragedy.

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Victim John Gibson (AP)
Victim Jacob Chestnut (AP)

The wounded tourist was identified as Angela Dickerson, 24. She was released midday Saturday from George Washington University Hospital. Authorities did not disclose her hometown, because the family requested complete privacy.

Plans already were under way to add the slain officers' names to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial not far from the Capitol.

Diana Andrusyshyn of Hamden, Connecticut, was in the first tour group to enter the Capitol Saturday. "I thought security would be tighter today," she said. Click here to learn about tourists who were caught in the crossfire.)

©1998 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report