A woman was shot and killed by police Thursday after she allegedly tried to drive her vehicle through security barriers at the White House and a chase ensued, authorities and witnesses said.
The chaotic pursuit prompted a lockdown of the U.S. Capitol, where tensions were high due to a continuing shutdown of the federal government.
Words were exchanged about 2:18 p.m. ET at the White House gates between the woman and a police officer, said Chief Kim Dine of the U.S. Capitol Police. The woman then drove away after more officers began to approach her vehicle, a black Infiniti sedan.
A brief chase ensued, in which the woman drove through several red lights and struck a police car, a security official told CNN.
Officers twice opened fire on the woman’s car, which crashed near the U.S. Capitol building, authorities said. No shots were fired near the White House, according to Ed Donovan of the Secret Service.
A 1-year-old child was taken from the car and hospitalized, Dine said.
The woman died after being hit by gunfire, Chief Cathy Lanier of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department said at a news conference Thursday evening in Washington.
“This does not to appear to be in any way an accident,” Lanier said. “This was a lengthy pursuit.”
Law enforcement officials identified the woman to the Hartford Courant as Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn.
Carey’s mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News that her daughter suffered postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter in August and was hospitalized for a short time.
A family spokesperson was expected to release a statement.
A 23-year veteran officer who was injured when his vehicle was struck by the driver was being treated and in good condition, Dine said.
A lockdown that had been ordered at the Capitol building was lifted and both crime scenes near the White House and Capitol Hill were secured, Dine said.
“We have no information that this was related to terrorism,” he said. “This appears to be an isolated incident.”
Earlier, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), was asked about initial reports of the shooting.
“It’s really hard to know what to expect these days,” he told KTLA. “We have this rash of shootings around the country and the only common denominator lately has been that the shooters have had some very serious mental health problems, but we’ll have to wait to see what the situation is here.”
Live footage of the area around the Capitol showed yellow police tape closing off streets that were filled with multiple law enforcement patrol cars. Officers carrying semiautomatic weapons could be seen walking through the area.
The shooting comes at a fraught political moment in Washington, as a stalemate continued on the third day of the federal government shutdown. Several members of Congress said they engaged in budget deliberations on the House floor when they first received word of the shooting.
“With the government being shut down and the accusations being made, it brings out certain kinds of people,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) told KTLA. “And I’ve been concerned that it may bring people to the Hill to either show their hatred for some of us or show their support.”
Something happening outside Capitol. Police running around with guns at ready. pic.twitter.com/7JkF5fMzfS
— Alex Leary (@learyreports) October 3, 2013
Miriam Carey, seen in this photo posted on Facebook, was identified by law enforcement as the driver involved in a pursuit in Washington, D.C.
Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/10/04/schizophrenia-meds-found-at-home-of-miriam-carey-after-capitol-chase/#ixzz2gmGKVB39