Car chase ends with shots fired near U.S. Capitol, suspect dead

Car chase ends with shots fired near U.S. Capitol, suspect dead

WASHINGTON — Police shot and killed a female suspect who struck a barrier near the White House with her car Thursday afternoon and led them on a high speed chase that ended near the U.S. Capitol.

The pursuit ended when police fired shots at the suspect at a traffic circle near the Capitol building, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said, and then again on the corner of Maryland and 1st Street NE only a few blocks away.

Two officers were injured during the incident. One was a Secret Service agent, who was struck at an outer perimeter check point at the White House, and the other was a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police who was injured in a vehicle collision, Chief Kim Dine said. The injured Capitol Police officer was airlifted to a local hospital and “is doing well," Dine said.

Police located a 1-year-old girl inside the suspect’s car, a black Infiniti sedan with Connecticut plates. The child was not injured, police and the Secret Service said, but was taken to a local hospital after the car crashed.

The driver of the vehicle died as a result of injuries sustained in the shooting, police said.

Law enforcement authorities identified the woman as Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Conn., the Associated Press reported. The authorities spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the information publicly.

Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia said the FBI was searching a Stamford address in connection with the investigation, and police cordoned off a condominium building and the surrounding neighborhood.

Carey had been a licensed dental hygienist in Connecticut since 2009, according to public records. She also operated a business called Experienced Dental Placements out of her condo near downtown Stamford. In online ads, the business offered career counseling and employment placement for dental hygienists and assistants.

A native of New York, records indicate that Carey was licensed to practice dental hygiene in New York about 10 years ago.

The incident, which began just after 2 p.m. ET, initially led to a shelter-in-place warning at all U.S. Capitol office buildings.

“We have no information that this is related to terrorism or is anything other than an isolated incident,” Dine told reporters. But law enforcement authorities also said the chase appeared “to be no accident."

The matter is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department, with assistance from U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and the Secret Service.

Earlier, Tim Wilson, a spokesperson with the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department, told Yahoo News that medical personnel transported one patient from the scene who suffered life-threatening injuries. He would not disclose the gender of the patient or the nature of the injuries.

Police could be seen swarming the grounds near the Capitol Building with guns drawn as the incident unfolded.

Yahoo News reporter Chris Moody was outside the Capitol when he heard three shots ring out.

About half a dozen police cars sped west down Constitution Avenue toward the scene. Moments later, other police vehicles sped back the other way.

Capitol Police told tourists and staffers near the Capitol Building to walk south past the U.S. House's congressional offices, and all buildings were locked down.

"Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows," the alert issued early Thursday afternoon, read. "Take your annunciators, emergency supply kits or go kits, and escape hoods. Move to your office's shelter in place location or the innermost part of your office suites and check in with your OEC." Other staffers waited outside until the lockdown was lifted.

One eyewitness told Yahoo News she saw a black car being chased by police, who had surrounded the car as the shots rang out.

"Police were shooting at [the car]," a witness told Yahoo News. "They had [the driver] blocked up and he kept going around the Capitol Building and around and around. Then I heard a loud crash on the other side of the Capitol."

Another witness said police began shooting when the car sped off after being trapped.

"We saw a black car and a couple of cop cars behind him," that witness said. "He kind of got stuck in front of the Capitol building where the pillars are. The cops got out of their car and surrounded [the suspect] and started yelling. Somehow [the car] turned around and almost hit a couple of them and that's when the cops started shooting."

The woman raced to the Capitol after a 2:12 p.m. incident in which her car struck temporary fencing and a Uniformed Secret Service officer at an outer perimeter check point near the White House, said Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary. She fled, with Uniformed Secret Service agents in pursuit vehicles.

Outside the White House, uniformed agents of the Secret Service kept tourists across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House gates, behind crowd barriers typically deployed when a visiting head of state is staying at Blair House, nearby.

Yahoo reporters Jason Sickles and Olivier Knox contributed to this report.