A woman driving a black sedan tried to ram through a White House barricade Thursday, then was killed after leading police on a chase that ended in gunfire outside the Capitol, officials said.
Shocked people watched the shooting unfold as others ran for cover on Constitution Avenue in D.C.'s tourism and U.S. government district as lawmakers inside the Capitol debated how to end a government shutdown.
Police quickly locked down the entire complex for about an hour, and both houses of Congress went into recess.
"This appears to be an isolated incident with one vehicle involved," U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said during a press conference.
The pursuit began when a car tried to ram a security barricade blocking the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. Witnesses said at least 20 police cars joined the chase as the car raced toward Capitol Hill, where it crashed outside the Capitol.
Dine said a policeman was injured when his car was rammed by the woman's car during the chase. His injuries are not life-threatening, Dine said.
At least 10 shots were fired during the incident, police said. It is not clear whether the woman fired any shots.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told reporters he was walking from the Capitol to the Senate Russell Office Building across the street when he noticed several police officers driving fast up Constitution Avenue on motorcycles.
"Within seconds of that," Casey said, "we heard three, four, five pops," which he assumed were gunshots. He said police ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection.
Tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah said he walked toward the scene, curious about what was going on.
"Then I heard the gunfire" and hit the ground, he said.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said a woman was driving the car and had a child with her. Ofori-Attah said the child appeared to be about 2 to 3 years old. Gainer said the child was taken to a hospital.
"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.
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.
People standing outside the Supreme Court across the street from Congress were hurried into the court building by authorities.
The White House also was briefly locked down after the incident at Capitol Hill and the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the compound was closed to pedestrians. Secret Service said the procedures were precautionary.
There was no apparent connection to terrorism in the car chase that ended in gunfire outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, a U.S. official said.
The shooting rattled the U.S. capital three weeks after 12 people were killed and three injured in a shooting spree by a government technology contractor at the U.S. Navy Yard, about 1.5 miles from the Capitol.
Newsmax writer Todd Beamon contributed to this report.
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