A woman with a small child in her car tried to ram into a White House barricade Thursday, then led authorities on a chase to the U.S. Capitol, where she was fatally shot, police said.
A Capitol Police officer was injured, apparently in a crash that happened after the chase.
The incident began at about 2:30 p.m. at the White House gates at 15th and E streets NW, NBC News confirmed. Video submitted to NBC Washington by AlhurraTV shows the woman’s car surrounded by officers with their guns drawn. The woman bashes into a barricade, backs up, and then drives away.
VIDEO: Woman Leads Police on Chase
At one point, the woman struck a uniformed Secret Service division officer outside the guarded gates.
She then led them and Capitol Police on a chase to 2nd Street and Maryland Avenue NE near the Capitol, where she crashed into a barricade, sources told NBC Washington’s Jackie Bensen.
The woman, who was about 34 and driving a car with Connecticut license plates, was shot at the scene and killed.
A volley of shots were heard and led to a lockdown on Capitol Hill, which was lifted after the incident.
Initial reports said the woman had fired, but later police sources told News4 that she did not have a weapon.
The woman’s child was taken to a hospital but was not hurt, reported NBC News’ Luke Russert.
The shooting comes on day three of the first government shutdown in 17 years, a tense standoff between the House and the Senate over the federal budget and President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Both sides have accused the other of refusing to negotiate, and tens of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed.
However, the woman’s motives remain unknown. The incident appeared to be isolated and was not related to terrorism, said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine.
The police officer who was injured in a crash during the chase was airlifted to an area hospital. He was conscious and breathing, Dine said.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) said he was in his office when he heard about the shots, reported NBC Chicago.
"We have our interns here — [a warning] squeals through the phone," he said. "Freaked everyone out — you are to shelter in place, lock your doors, go to the back of your office."
During the lockdown, the House recessed, and the Senate went into a quorum call.
Pennsylvania Avenue remains closed in the area, and tourists were evacuated.
"You could hear multiple shots," said one witness. "We knew we were in danger, in harm’s way, and we heard the police screaming, ‘Get down, get down!’ So we hit the concrete and just laid still."
Another witness told NBC Washington he heard two separate bursts of gunfire. NBC News correspondent Luke Russert reported hearing three or four booms from his office and saw 40 to 50 people hit the ground.
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