AMERICAS > Driver shot dead in car chase near US Capitol


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Rescue personnel stand around a smashed U.S. Capitol Police car following a shooting near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 3. REUTERS photo

Rescue personnel stand around a smashed U.S. Capitol Police car following a shooting near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Oct. 3. REUTERS photo

A dramatic car chase through the streets of Washington from near the White House to the U.S. Capitol ended in gunfire on Thursday when law enforcement officers shot and killed the driver as lawmakers and aides huddled in a lockdown.

The incident rattled Washington less than three weeks after a government contractor opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the Capitol, killing 12 people and wounding three others before he was shot to death by police. 
The car involved in the chase was registered to Miriam Carey, 34, of Connecticut, and law enforcement officials believe she was the driver, the Washington Post reported, citing officials. NBC News also identified the driver as Carey. 
Reached by phone at Washington's Metropolitan Police headquarters, a police officer confirmed that Carey was the driver, but declined to provide his name.
"The suspect in the vehicle was struck by gunfire," Washington's police chief, Cathy Lanier, told reporters. 
Driving a black car, the woman rammed security barricades "at the very outer perimeter of the White House," U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. Then the car, carrying a 1-year-old girl, raced up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol where Congress was in session. 
Police chased and fired at the car. It came to a halt near the Capitol building, said Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine.
"My understanding is there was a 1-year-old child in the car," Dine said. "I believe one of our officers rescued the child," who was taken to a hospital.
It appeared there was no connection to terrorism, Dine said of the incident.
Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that officials believed the woman driving the car may have had mental health problems.
"I got that from multiple sources - that they think she may have had some mental health issues," he said. "Obviously the way she responded at the gate near the White House and then turning around and hitting Secret Service." 
The woman was a resident of Connecticut and the girl in the car was her daughter, McCaul said. 
Hours after the woman's fatal encounter with officers, the FBI and other agencies were conducting a search of the sprawling condo complex in Stamford, Connecticut, where neighbors say she lived. Dozens of neighbors were forced to wait outside. 
They drank coffee and some talked on cell phones trying to arrange to stay with friends and relatives.
"When we got home late this afternoon, there were three helicopters flying above, there were Haz-Mat (hazardous materials) trucks and bomb-squad trucks coming in, and police were telling people to get out of their condos," said Krysta Valentine, 29, a resident of the area who said she had seen Carey at times. 
When the shooting erupted outside the Capitol building, lawmakers were trying to find a solution to a budget impasse that partially shut down the U.S. government this week. The Capitol was locked down for about an hour during the incident.
Lawmakers were told to shelter in place on the floor of the House. Outside, some tourists were frightened.
"I was just eating a hot dog over here and I heard about four or five gunshots, and then a swarm of police cars came in wailing their sirens," said Whit Dabney, 13, who was visiting Washington from Louisville, Kentucky, and heard the shots a couple of blocks away.
Witness Travis Gilbert said several police cars chased the black car at high speed toward the Capitol.
"They ran all the red lights. It was a very dangerous situation," Gilbert said.
Two officers were hurt in Thursday's incident. One was a Secret Service officer who was struck by the suspect's car outside the White House, Donovan said. 
The other was a Capitol Police officer whose car struck a barricade during the mid-afternoon chase. It ranged over about a mile and a half (2.4 km) and lasted just a few minutes, officials said. 
All the shooting appears to have been done by police. Law enforcement sources said the suspect did not shoot a gun and there is no indication she had one.
Just before the Capitol lockdown, Senator John McCain of Arizona was on the Senate floor urging that President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators launch negotiations to break the deadlock over government funding and a debt limit increase.
The House had just passed a bill to fund the National Guard and reservists who are not on active duty during the shutdown.
The Capitol police, who were deemed "essential" staff, were at work despite the government shutdown, but they are not being paid. 
"What really comes home to me is that these are all people who are working without pay right now," Representative Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said on CNN. He was outside on a Capitol balcony when he said he heard seven or eight shots "all in less than a second."
Obama was briefed on the incident, a White House official said, providing no further details.
Security is tight near the Capitol, but there have been previous shootings in the area. In 1998, a gunman burst through a security checkpoint at the Capitol and killed two Capitol Police officers in an exchange of fire that sent tourists and other bystanders diving for cover. The suspect, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., was not charged with a crime because of apparent mental instability.


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Notice on comments

mara mcglothin

10/7/2013 3:40:30 PM

Consider your sources ILKER. Consider your sources.

american american

10/6/2013 5:20:54 PM

hey ilker! guess which country is sterilizing kurdish women not in prison and telling them it is a free health checkup to boot? you guessed it, turkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ilker avni

10/4/2013 9:13:18 PM

Unbeliveable just like a scean from bruce willis film,gun crazy american cops kill a woman and prob her child,for a traffic offence,they will try and justify they killing,allready calling her crazy,no mention of her having any weapon,or a gun found.A life gone very sad.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 7:06:45 PM

@Mara The population the size of Turkey is living under the UN poverty line,i know its hard for you to except facts,or to ignore them.For example forced sterilizesation of Black women in sacremento prisons by Governor Jerry Brown. And NO i havnt made it up,you can google or watch the documentary on Al Jazeera.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 6:43:01 PM

The Governor of Sacremento prison ( Jerry Brown) has found a way to stop the increase of the prison population,his plan is simple, sterilize black women in jail,without they consent,thats one way of makeing sure the whites outnumber the black population.Black men in america more likely to die in prison,or spend they life locked up behind bars. Google Sacremento prison jerry brown and his plan.or watch Al Jazeera. front lines.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 6:29:57 PM

america america I am touched by your concern for turkey,but havnt you got your wires crossed,surely your concern should be for the fifty million americans living in poverty with no med care.@ Super tramp spot on. except China holding two trillion of american bonds that are useless paper.America wants the world to pay of its debts by keeping the worthless dollar,by printing money adds to the ever increasing debt.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 6:18:54 PM

@ Brian IrlandWheres the sense of humour? .I dont hate any country or race,if my posts were of that nature the Daily would not publish it.As per your comment which is full of balderdash,America is holding the worlds economy to ransome,they printing machines are at full power to flood the world of useless dollar,the only thing you said was true is the world is suffering,and its because of america economy.America caused the financial collapse around the world or have you forgotton.


10/4/2013 4:19:53 PM

An unarmed mom with a baby in the car is shot and killed. Was there no other way?

mara mcglothin

10/4/2013 3:53:52 PM

AMERICAN -ILKER and others simply can't get the fact that America is exporting huge amounts of rice to China. They are the ones with the problem of finding food for their mass population. I come from the rice capitol of the World, so I would know. Don't get it twisted ILKER, the poor Americans of which you speak all have working cell phones and running water. Can you say the same for the poor of Turkey.

American Idiot

10/4/2013 3:27:23 PM

I don't know Brian, Ilker sounds spot on to me.
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