D.C. chase turns deadly after driver strikes White House security barrier

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A chase that began Thursday when a driver with a year-old child in the car struck a White House security barrier ended across downtown Washington, when police shot and killed the driver near the U.S. Capitol, police said.

The woman driving the car was unarmed, law enforcement sources said. All the shots in the incident, which began about 2:14 p.m., were fired by police trying to stop her. Police fired at the car in at least two locations, as the car drove across Washington, and around the Capitol area.

Law enforcement officials said the car was registered to Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Conn. The officials said they believe Carey, who once lived in Brooklyn, was driving the car.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the child was said to be in good condition.

Two officers were injured during the incident, including a Capitol Police officer and a Secret Service officer. Both were not seriously harmed.

"The security perimeters worked," D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Thursday night. "They did exactly what they were supposed to do."

The chase and the shootings triggered a brief lockdown in the Capitol, which was full of lawmakers and staff focused on the ongoing government shutdown. Officers ran through the ornate hallways carrying semiautomatic weapons for a tense half hour as employees were told to "shelter in place." But no one in the Capitol complex was hurt, and the House resumed its business before 4 p.m.

"We have no information that this is related to terrorism, or is anything other than an isolated incident," Dine said. He gave no information about the driver's identity, or a possible motive.

The chase stretched across downtown Washington: it started at the security barriers outside one icon, and ended at the barriers outside another.

Police said shots were first fired at the car at Garfield Circle SW, a traffic circle on the southwest side of the Capitol. Shots were fired again at Maryland Avenue and Second Street SE. The car crashed, and then police fired again, Lanier said. Officers from both the Capitol Police and the Secret Service fired, Lanier said, but it was unclear how many officers had fired shots, or how many rounds had been fired in total.

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While most of New York's lawmakers were inside their offices or the Capitol at the time of the crash, Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) was walking to his office in the nearby Cannon House Office Building. "I didn't hear the shots. I didn't know anything was happening," King said.

After he arrived at his office, he received a bulletin telling him to shelter in place. It was lifted 33 minutes later, he said.

At the beginning, Oregon residents B.J. and Susan Campbell saw a black sedan driven by a woman heading west into a security checkpoint at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The driver went about 20 yards, B.J. Campbell said, before rapidly turning the car around at the concrete security barriers.

"The Secret Service guy was just having a cow," B.J. Campbell said. "Yelling at her and banging on the car." The Secret Service officers pulled a black metal gate into her path and she slowed to try to go around it. Then the agent moved the gate in front of her again.

At that point "she just gunned it," B.J. Campbell said. "She ran the barricade down and the guy; knocked him up onto her hood. He rolled off into the street, and she tore off down Pennsylvania Avenue." The whole encounter lasted about 20 seconds, he said.

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A few moments later and about 1.7 miles away, eyewitnesses reported seeing a black car speeding through Capitol Hill streets, pursued by several police vehicles.

Giancarlo Refalo, a tourist from Malta, said he heard several gunshots followed by "lots of screaming and shouting." Then the black vehicle came back on First Street chased by police. "They were swerving all over the place," he said. "By that time I was hiding in the bushes because I was so scared."

With Tom Brune

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