Capitol Hill police officers look at a car following a shooting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. A police officer was reported injured after gunshots at the U.S. Capitol, police said Thursday. They locked down the entire complex, at least temporarily derailing debate over how to end a government shutdown.
The U.S. Capitol was put on lockdown Thursday after a woman with a small child in her car tried to ram a White House barricade. The woman was fatally shot, police say, after the ensuing police chase.
The suspect's vehicle, a black Infiniti with Connecticut plates, "tried to ram a security barricade at the White House," according to a law enforcement official. The female driver then "proceeded down Pennsylvania Ave. toward Capitol Hill, where shots were fired."
"The car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over the curb,'' said Matthew Coursen, who told the Associated Press he was on his way to a legislative office building when the Infiniti sped by him. "The car got boxed in and that's when I saw an officer of some kind draw his weapon and fire shots into the car.''
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), who said he was briefed by the Homeland Security Department, said the woman was killed. Asked if she was armed, he replied: "I don't think she was. There was no return fire."
Two officers were injured in the incident. A Secret Service agent was struck by the car at 15th and E St NW, near the outer security perimeter of the White House. The other officer was with the Capitol Police, who clipped a barricade in his vehicle.
MedStar Washington has confirmed that they are treating two patients, one of which is the injured Capitol Police officer. The officer, a 23-year veteran of the Capitol Police, is "doing well," according to Dine.
The child is approximately one year in age, and received medical care after being rescued by police.
Dine says this is an isolated incident, emphasizing that it's not believed to constitute an act of terrorism.
During and after the incident, people standing outside the Supreme Court across the street from Congress were hurried into the court building by authorities, and visitors and reporters at the Capitol building were ushered inside security barriers.
"We heard pop, pop, pop — maybe four shots," says Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Penn).
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told the Associated Press that he was walking from the Capitol to the Senate Russell Office Building across the street when he noticed several police officers driving fast up Constitution Avenue on motorcycles.
"Within seconds of that," Casey said, "we heard three, four, five pops," which he assumed were gunshots. He said police ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection.
The White House was locked down as well, though Secret Service says the procedure was a precautionary one. Pennsylvania Avenue was been closed, as was Constitution Ave between 1st St SE and 1st St. SW.
The lockdown was lifted at approximately 3 p.m.