Reports Of Shots Fired Near U.S. Capitol

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(ABC NEWS) -- An attempt to ram the White House gates today resulted in a high speed chase to the Capitol and ended with shots fired and a female suspect dead, officials and sources said.

The gunfire sent senators and staffers scrambling inside the Capitol which was put under lockdown.

A child was found unhurt in the suspect's car, authorities said. After making an initial identification of the suspect, police are trying to confirm that the suspect is a 34-year-old woman from Stamford, Conn., with a history of mental health issues.

Police said there were no weapons found in the suspect's car.

The incident began when a vehicle rammed a barrier outside the White House at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The car was chased to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NW, police said.

"[The suspect] circled monuments in front of Capitol Hill twice while being pursued. Then she headed toward the Capitol where Capitol Hill police and Secret Service opened fire and shot her," said Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer.

At one point, a group of at least five cops surrounded the woman's stopped car with their guns drawn. The suspect, driving a black two-door sedan, appeared not to heed their commands and sped off, nearly running over a couple of officers, as seen in a video obtained by ABC News.

With their pistols drawn, cops "were shouting at the driver," eyewitness Frank Schwing, a furloughed Commerce Department employee told ABC News. "At that point the driver put [the car] in reverse, drove back, and slammed into a cruiser."

The officers ran back to their cars and began chasing the woman again toward the Capitol.

The suspect's car rammed a Capitol Police vehicle and was stopped by an automated barrier near the Hart Senate Building, police said. Officers were authorized to shoot at the car.

Sources said the woman's vehicle is leased with out of state license plates.

"We heard pops that sounded like shots," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told ABC News.

"We heard shots. They told us to get behind a car," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said as he re-entered the Capitol building just moments before it was placed on lockdown.

There is "no information this is related to terrorism or this anything other than an isolated incident," Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told reporters.

A Capitol Police officer, who was initially reported shot, was later found to have been injured in a traffic accident involving an automated barricade during the pursuit.

An initial alert to lawmakers and staffers came around 2:25 p.m. A half hour later at 2:55 p.m., the lockdown was lifted. The Supreme Court was also briefly closed following reports of gunfire.

"Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, emergency supply kits and escape hoods; and move to your office's assigned shelter in place location or the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows," Capitol Police told Congressional staffers staffers in an email.

The Capitol this week is the center of a contentious political battle over an ongoing government shutdown.


  • Ryan

    Police said there were no weapons found in the suspect’s car. But they thought she was shooting, so they shot her dead…

  • Dixie Normus

    Perhaps the repugnamts should not be holding the county hostage over an already signed “LAW”. It’s forcing the nut cases out there to act like the real idiots they are.

  • Joe

    i dont think one lady “tryed to take them out”. The government is never going to agree. The US citizens need to wake up and realize whats going on and do something about it, not our governement.

    • ryanwithegroup

      I agree with you Joe. I am just concerned that the people are going to revolt and try to take out the government. I was watching the News last night and the Republicans vs Democrats that approve of the bill right now are basically 50/50 the Democrats had a 1% advantage I think. People are going to get upset eventually. They are going want the government to fix the issues and if they do not are the people going to revolt? This is a concern of mine. I do not care for President Obama but I am not going to do anything stupid. I am just starting to move forward in business and personal life. Another point I liked that I saw last night. President Obama should make a compromise. Let people try out the Obama plan for a year. If they want it then they can try it if not then don’t make them. If it works out good by this time next year keep it going but do not make people get Obama Plan. If people want to go to Obama plan then let them sign up. It is a win win and I thought it was a good idea. Take the used car for a ride before you buy it so to speak.

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