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Capitol Police Chase Suspect Vehicle

Updated: Thursday, October 3 2013, 08:53 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A woman with a year-old child led Secret Service and
police on a harrowing car chase from the White House past the Capitol
Thursday, attempting to penetrate the security barriers at both national
landmarks before she was shot to death, police said. The child
survived.

"I'm pretty confident this was not an accident," said
Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Still, Capitol Police said there
appeared to be no terrorist link. Authorities would not say whether the
woman had been armed.

Tourists, congressional staff and even
some senators watched as a caravan of law enforcement vehicles chase a
black Infiniti with Connecticut license plates down Constitution Avenue
outside the Capitol. House and Senate lawmakers, inside debating how to
end a government shutdown, briefly shuttered their chambers as Capitol
Police shut down the building.

The woman's car at one point had
been surrounded by police cars and she managed to escape, careening
around a traffic circle and past the north side of the Capitol. Video
shot by a TV camerman showed police pointing firearms at her car before
she rammed a Secret Service vehicle and continued driving. Lanier said
police shot and killed her a block northeast of the historic building.

One
Secret Service member and a 23-year veteran of the Capitol Police were
injured. Officials said they are in good condition and expected to
recover.

"This appears to be an isolated, singular matter, with,
at this point, no nexus to terrorism," said Capitol Police Chief Kim
Dine.

The pursuit began when the car sped onto a driveway leading
to the White House, over a set of lowered barricades. When the driver
couldn't get through a second barrier, she spun the car in the opposite
direction, flipping a Secret Service officer over the hood of the car as
she sped away, said B.J. Campbell, a tourist from Portland, Ore.

Then the chase began.

"The
car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over
the curb," said Matthew Coursen, who was watching from a cab window 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."

Police
shot and killed the driver just outside the Hart Senate Office
Building, where many senators have their offices. Dine said an officer
took the child from the car to a hospital. She is in good condition
under protective custody, officials said.

A few senators between the Capitol and their office buildings said they heard the shots.

"We
heard three, four, five pops," said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. Police
ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection,
then hustled everyone into the Capitol.

Others witnessed the incident, too.

"There
were multiple shots fired and the air was filled with gunpowder," said
Berin Szoka, whose office at a technology think tank overlooks the
shooting scene.

The shooting comes two weeks after a mentally
disturbed employee terrorized the Navy Yard with a shotgun, leaving 13
people dead including the gunman.

Before the disruption,
lawmakers had been trying to find common ground to end a government
shutdown. The House had just finished approving legislation aimed at
partly lifting the government shutdown by paying National Guard and
Reserve members.

Capitol Police on the plaza around the Capitol said they were working without pay as the result of the shutdown.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Capitol Police Chase Suspect Vehicle


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