WASHINGTON D.C – Washington D.C was the site of another lockdown Thursday after a woman attempted to crash the gate of the White House with her car. She was chased by the Secret Service to the U.S Capitol area where gunfire was exchanged.
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Everything started at 2:18 PM EST when a black car charged the White House gates. When that failed, she led the Secret Service on a car chase at high speeds down 12 blocks. According to Chief Kim Dine of the Capitol Police, her car hit a Capitol Police cruiser at 2nd St. and Constitute Avenue before crashing into barricades a few blocks away.
From there the suspect opened fire on law enforcement. She was eventually shot in the head and killed. It was reported that at least one Capitol Police officer was wounded. He was air lifted from the scene.
Chief Dine weighed in on today’s events saying “This appears to be an isolated incident. Both scenes are under control.”
The child that was in the black Infiniti sedan with the woman is said to be fine.
Capitol law enforcement hasn’t established a motive, but Chief Dine said that it most likely wasn’t an act of terrorism.
Several representatives were at the scene when the shootout began. Representative Gerry Connolly (D-MA) was on the balcony at the time and said described the exchange of gunfire as coming from the House side of the Capitol.
In speaking with MSNBC, Representative Matthew Cartwright (D-PA) said “It was like the first volley in a 21-gun salute.”
During the exchange, Capitol Police warned anyone occupying the House to “shelter in place”. The order was called off shortly afterwards.
The House went into recess while the Senate had a quorum call before carrying on with operations.
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During the lockdown, Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) told MSNBC “We’ve locked the doors. We closed the window shades. And we are awaiting further instructions. We’re more or less cut off here. We’re watching TV and just trying to figure out what happened.”
House operations continued at 3:30 PM EST with Representative John Culberson (R-TX) asking for a moment of silence for the injured Capitol Police officer. The business of the day was debate over reinstating funding for veteran affairs.
According to a spokesman for Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI), there was a run in with a “random individual” outside of the Capitol. The person “began screaming at him and grabbed his arm” leaving Rep. Duffy unharmed. As per House procedures, the incident was reported to security.
It’s not believed that today’s incident and Representative Duffy’s are related.
Update 10/4/13: The deceased suspect in Thursday’s attempted breach of the White House and the following car chase and shooting at the Capitol was identified as Miriam Carey (34) from Stamford, Connecticut. The woman’s daughter in the car was a 1-year old.
An investigation of Carey’s home found that she had medication for schizophrenia. Her boyfriend is reported as having called police on at least one prior occasion in December. He was concerned for the safety of their child, aged 4 months at the time.
Carey’s boyfriend said that she was acting strangely and saying that the president had put Stamford under lockdown and that the house was under electronic surveillance.
He informed police that she was suffering from post-partum depression, was having trouble sleeping, and had mental evaluations.
A dentist, Dr. Barry Weiss, hired Miriam Carey in January 2012 as a dental hygienist. She was fired in August of that year after reports that she was too rough.
A CNN source said that Carey left a letter to her boyfriend at the Stamford apartment. A white powdery substance was found in or on the letter and is currently being tested.
Carey’s neighborhood was evacuated by federal and local law enforcement agencies as they searched her apartment for explosives. The search turned up nothing.
It has been noted that there was no firearm and nothing to show that she actually exchanged gunfire with Capitol Police and the Secret Service. It appears that lethal force was used as her vehicle counts as a deadly weapon.