Capitol Police: Woman Stopped at White House Gate, Fled, Police Fired (UPDATE: Video)
October 3, 2013 - 12:54 pm
Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine confirmed that the suspect who led police on a chase from the White House to the Capitol was female, but was hesitant to confirm other details.
Dine told reporters that a “vehicle in vicinity of the White House” attempted to cross barricade, was stopped by the Secret Service and “shots were potentially fired.”
Media witnessed a child being removed from the suspect’s car after the driver was shot. “Possibly we believe there was a child in the car,” Dine said. “I don’t have a condition on the person in the car at this time.”
“On the way one of our officers was struck; as far as we know no officer was shot,” he said. It’s unclear if the suspect actually fired any of the shots heard on the Hill — accounts range from five to 13 — or had a gun.
“We have no information that this is related to terrorism or is anything other than an isolated incident,” the chief added.
Witnesses have told media that a woman driving a black car approached a checkpoint at the White House, pulled away after “words were exchanged,” and may have hit a security barrier in the process. She drove away toward the Capitol, running red lights along the way, and officers were given the authorization to use force to stop her.
Two witnesses told CNN that the black car already bore bullet holes as it fled the White House. They said the driver was not being referred to as a shooter.
The Senate sergeant-at-arms said the Capitol Police officer was hurt when his car crashed into the security barrier at Constitution and New Jersey avenues. He also said the officer’s injuries are not life-threatening.
The House went back into session at 3:30 p.m.
Capitol Police were canvassing the area for witnesses.
UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): House Homeland Security Committee Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said the suspect is a 34-year-old African-American woman, “possibly with some mental health issues.”
The child in the car, an 18-month-old girl, was taken into protective custody.
“The FBI is digging into the background of this individual to see what, if anything, is there,” McCaul said.
One reporter at the most recent press conference with law enforcement officials asked if the suspect, who died from police gunshots, is Somali.
“We’re actually not talking about the suspect at this stage,” Dine said.
Ed Donovan of the Secret Service said one of his officers was struck by the suspect’s black coupe with Connecticut plates at 15th and E streets.
“This incident is under investigation but at this point an unauthorized vehicle tried to gain access at an outer checkpoint,” Donovan said. “Our officers acted appropriately…there were no shots fired at the White House.”
Dine confirmed that the other injury was the Capitol Police officer who crashed his car into a barricade, a 23-year veteran who was still at the hospital but is “doing well.”
“All around the capitol the security worked exceptionally well,” Dine said.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier wouldn’t answer questions about whether the suspect was armed, but confirmed that shots were fired in two locations: Garfield Circle, as seen in the Al-Hurra video, and near the Capitol office buildings.
“This does not appear to be in any way an accident,” Lanier said, with “two security perimeters attempted to be breached.”
Bro witness pic.twitter.com/Wf3Xg3HH6q
— Matt Vasilogambros (@MattVas) October 3, 2013
Was at the Capitol when shooting happened but now am safely back at the office and OK. pic.twitter.com/w9KAZfUVi2
— Charles Rangel (@cbrangel) October 3, 2013