4 Oct 2013

Chase ends in shooting outside US Capitol

5:08 pm on 4 October 2013

US police have shot dead a woman involved in a high-speed car chase near the White House and Capitol building, sparking a major security alert.

A US official said the suspect first tried to ram through White House security barricades.

Officials said a vehicle struck a security barrier at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House.

Police chased the black car for about 1.5 miles to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue, near the Capitol, where the shots were fired.

An injured policeman was taken from the shooting scene in a Medevac helicopter, police said.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said a one year old child was in the car. "I believe one of our officers rescued the child," he said.

He said there was no information that the shooting was related to terrorism or "is anything other than an isolated incident."

At least one suspect is in custody.

Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that officials believe the woman driving the car in Thursday's incident may have had mental health problems.

He said the woman was a resident of Connecticut and the girl in the car was her daughter.

The Capitol, home of the Senate and Congress, was put into lockdown when the gunshots were fired. Journalists, congressional staff members and tourists were ordered to take shelter inside the complex. The lockdown order was lifted about half an hour later.

The incident began near the White House and ended near the Capitol, where the House of Representatives and Senate were in session on Thursday. Lawmakers were trying to find a solution to a budget impasse that partially shut down the US government this week.

A White House official said President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident.