A woman with a 1-year-old girl in her car was fatally shot by police near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, after a chase through the heart of Washington that brought a new jolt of fear to a city already rattled by the recent Navy Yard shooting and the federal shutdown.
The car was registered to Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn., law enforcement officials said, adding that they believed Carey was the driver.D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said that the driver tried to breach two Washington landmarks and that the incident was not an accident. But officials also said it did not appear to be part of any larger or organized terrorist plot.
The chase began at about 2:15 p.m. at a White House security checkpoint, where the woman struck a barrier and a Secret Service officer with her black Infiniti. The woman then sped away from that fortified icon and headed straight for another: the Capitol.
During the chase, police officers opened fire twice, both times in areas busy with tourists and office workers. The Capitol itself was locked down, as a bitter debate over the government shutdown was interrupted by echoes of shots, officers with guns and an urgent order to “shelter in place.”
The end came outside the Hart Senate Office Building, at Maryland Avenue and Second Street NE. The woman’s car got stuck. Officers fired another volley. Then, moments later, an officer emerged with the girl and carried the toddler quickly away as new waves of officers arrived.
Authorities said the woman was not armed, and although the incident was first reported as a shooting at the Capitol, the only shots were fired by officers.