A Connecticut woman who tried to ram her way into the White House grounds was shot and killed Thursday as she fled from police in a high speed car chase through the heart of Washington DC that left at least one police officer injured.
The woman has been identified by the New Haven Register as Miriam Carey. The 34-year-old dental hygienist from Stamford, who once lived in Brooklyn, had a one-year-old child in the car with her who was not hurt, officials said.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters Thursday evening that shots were fired in two locations. Near the Capitol, police killed Carey, who was driving the black Infiniti with a young child inside, who is in good condition and in protective custody.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the incident is believed to be an isolated act unrelated to terrorism.
Tourists watched the shooting unfold on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol as lawmakers inside debated how to end a government shutdown. Police quickly locked down the entire complex temporarily, and both houses of Congress went into recess.
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 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 was not injured and was placed in protective custody, Capitol Police said.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who said he was briefed by the Homeland Security Department, said he did not think the woman was armed. “There was no return fire,” he said.
RYOT NOTE: This situation could have been much if it weren’t for the quick response of police officers — including one who was injure — who ended this incident in six minutes. Unfortunately, these brave men and women sometimes perish in the line of duty. That’s why we love to support organizations like The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which generates increased public support for the law enforcement profession by permanently recording and appropriately commemorating the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers. Click on the gray box alongside this story to learn more, donate and Become the News!