WASHINGTON: The US Capitol was briefly locked down yesterday after gunshots were fired outside the building following a car chase across central Washington which ended with the woman driving the car being shot, officials said.
One official said the woman was killed but this could not be confirmed immediately and a police official said he did not know the condition of the suspect.
The shooting rattled the capital three weeks after a government contractor opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, about 2.4km from the Capitol, killing 12 people and wounding three before he was shot to death by police.
The incident began near the White House and ended near the Capitol, where the House of Representatives and Senate were in session. Lawmakers were trying to find a solution to a budget impasse that partially shut down the government this week.
Officials said a vehicle struck a security barrier at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House. Police chased the vehicle for about 1km to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue, near the Capitol, where the shots were fired.
An injured policeman was taken from the shooting scene in a Medevac helicopter, police said. “He appears to be conscious and breathing but we’re following up,” Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said. “As far as we know, no officer has been shot.”
Dine said he believed there was a child in the car with the suspect.
The Capitol police, who were deemed “essential” staff, were at work despite the shutdown but they are not being paid.