Capitol Hill lockdown: Police shoot and kill female driver who refused to stop close to White House

Young child that was a passenger in the car uninjured, say officials

Washington

Already in a state of high tension over the government shutdown, Capitol Hill was briefly placed on lockdown on Thursday afternoon after a car chase ended with an exchange of shots near the Capitol building in which a suspect was killed, and a police officer injured.

Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Connecticut, is believed to be the woman shot dead at the seat of a black Infiniti, which was registered in her name. Enforcement officials believe she was the driver, the Washington Post reported, citing officials. NBC News and local media have also identified the driver as Carey.

Police and the FBI have since searched and cordoned off a property in Stamford, Conneticut, which is thought to be the woman's home.

A Stamford Police spokesman said they had been called to her residence previously "at least once" but she had no criminal record. After searching the house on Thursday, officers said: "We did not deem there to be any danger."

Her mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News her daughter began suffering from post-partum depression after giving birth to her daughter, Erica, last August.

“She had post-partum depression after having the baby” she said. “A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed. ... She was hospitalized.”

Authorities have not yet officially confirmed the identity of the woman driving the car.

An investigation into the incident has begun, after the woman travelling with a child in her car was stopped by police close to the US Treasury building, just a block from the White House.

Instead of stopping, she drove off at high speed towards Capitol Hill, hitting a security barrier and going through red lights along the way. Police were authorised to use force to stop the vehicle and shots were fired. The chase ended when the car stopped. Police said the case was an isolated incident, unrelated to terrorism.

Images emerged afterwards of a young child being carried out of the vehicle to a patrol car by police.

“I'm pretty confident this was not an accident,” said Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Separately, law enforcement sources told the Post that the the woman in the car was unarmed.

“The car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over the curb,” said eyewitness Matthew Coursen, who was in a taxi when the car sped past. “The car got boxed in and that's when I saw an officer of some kind draw his weapon and fire shots into the car.”

A Secret Service agent and a police officer were injured, but were said to be in good condition and expected to recover. Officials said the woman was killed, but that a young child in the car was uninjured.

During the emergency, Congressmen, Senators and their staff inside the Capitol and nearby office buildings were ordered to take “shelter in place.” Others were moved to safe areas. But the security alert was lifted in less than an hour, and tourists were allowed back onto the Capitol grounds.

The situation further rattled nerves in an anxious city, just three weeks after 12 people were killed and three injured in a shooting spree by a government technology contractor at the US Navy Yard, around a mile and a half away.

Though highly unusual, the incident was not unprecedented. In 1998, a gunman burst through a security checkpoint 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, was not charged with a crime because of apparent mental instability.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine