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Wild car chase ends with suspect shot to death near U.S. Capitol

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WASHINGTON, DC - A wild car chase Thursday that started near the White House ended minutes later in gunfire at the U.S. Capitol, creating a chaotic scene of blaring sirens, locked-down lawmakers and bystanders hitting the dirt.

The woman who drove the black Infiniti involved in the chase died from gunfire, police said, and a year-old child in the car with the woman was in protective custody.

Two law enforcement officers were injured -- a Secret Service officer hit by the car near the White House, and a Capitol Police officer whose vehicle crashed during the chase, authorities said.

The dramatic events brought a swarm of emergency vehicles to the Capitol complex and caused Congress and surrounding offices to be temporarily locked down.

House and Senate sessions were immediately suspended, with legislators ordered to take cover and keep away from windows. Police also closed Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

The chase began when the Infiniti hit a barrier on the outer security perimeter of the White House, said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman. One of the responding officers was hit by the car as it left the scene, he said.

Police said the car sped down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol, where security vehicles stopped it at Garfield Circle.

Frank Schwing, a Washington resident who was near the area, said officers "came out with their guns drawn" and approached the suspect's vehicle.

"At that point, the driver slammed into reverse, slammed into a cruiser, did a 180 (degree turn), took off, and at that point, there were a half dozen or so shots fired," apparently all by small arms from police, Schwing told CNN.

Video footage by other witnesses showed the black vehicle then careening around a nearby traffic circle with a police car in close pursuit and then headed away. Shortly afterward, the black car crashed into security barriers a few blocks, witnesses said.

Cathy Lanier, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said more shots were fired after the vehicle stopped, and the woman was hit several times. She was later pronounced dead, Lanier said.

According to multiple sources, there was no reason so far to believe that the woman fired any shots or even had a weapon.

A task force prepared to execute a search warrant at her Connecticut home, law enforcement sources said.

In Congress, a Capitol Police bulletin said reports of gunshots required "all occupants in all House office buildings to shelter in place."

"Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows," the bulletin said. Authorities later lifted the lockdown, with police saying they believed the incident was isolated with no connection to terrorism.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation, which occurred on the third day of a government shutdown due to a stalemate in Congress over government funding.

"The timing on this was really kind of scary," said Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas. "Capitol Hill police are at a lower personnel level because of the shutdown."

By Tom Cohen

CNN's Evan Perez, Dana Bash, Mike Ahlers, Ted Barrett, John King, Gabe Lamonica and Brian Todd contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20134:20 pm

This exclusive image taken from Alhurra Television shows the car that was being chased by authorities in DC, which ended in U.S. Capitol police opening fire on Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:40 pm

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Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:31 pm

People take cover as Capitol police respond to reports of shots fired on Capitol Hill Thursday, October 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:30 pm

A cop on Capitol Hill is pictured with a gun after shots were fired on Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:27 pm

Eyewitness Brian Johnson told CNN he saw three police cars rush by the
Senate Hart Office Building during a chase. He said he heard gunshots
and a loud crash.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:22 pm

The female driver of a car involved in a chase that ended at Capitol
Hill apparently was hit by gunfire, an intelligence source said. A child
was in the car.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:21 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:20 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:08 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:07 pm

A motorist apparently trying to get through security barriers on
Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House was chased by police, according
to the U.S. Secret Service. A government official said gunfire was
exchanged at Capitol Hill, with one officer injured.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:05 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:05 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:04 pm

An intelligence source tells that CNN that a car chase was the beginning
of a situation involving reported gunshots on Capitol Hill.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:02 pm

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20132:01 pm

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Joe Millitzer October 3, 20131:56 pm

People in Senate office buildings and the Capitol are “sheltering in place” because of a reported shooter situation on Capitol Hill. There are reports of one injury.

Joe Millitzer October 3, 20131:54 pm

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