A crime scene extended across downtown D.C. Wednesday afternoon, after Secret Service officers chased a woman driving a black car from the White House to Capitol Hill where she crashed into a police barricade and tried to escape on foot.
A reported shooting ensued on the grounds of the seat of the U.S. legislature, where tensions were already running high in the government’s third day of a shutdown. Police locked down the Capitol immediately after the incident at roughly 2:30 p.m., and ended the "shelter in place" warning at roughly 3 p.m.
The woman first rammed a barricade at the White House just before 2:20 p.m., the chief of Capitol Hill Police said. There was a child in the car, who is safe and secure. Multiple media outlets report the female driver was shot and killed.
A Capitol Police officer was wounded in the incident and was evacuated by helicopter, which landed on the National Mall to the West of the Capitol building.
Multiple members of Congress turned to social media to describe the events as they unfolded.
"We are in temporary lockdown," wrote Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House minority whip, on Twitter. "Thank you to the US Capitol Police for keeping us safe."
Multiple Capitol Hill staffers reported to U.S. News hearing gunshots near the Hart Senate Office Building on Constitution Avenue to the north of the Capitol Building.
Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine held an impromptu press conference on the Capitol grounds at roughly 3:30 p.m.
A car tried to pass a barricade at the White House at roughly 2:18 p.m., he said. Uniformed Secret Service officers tried to stop the vehicle. Shots were fired, Dine said, and Secret Service pursued the fleeing vehicle.
The car struck a Capitol Police car at 1st Street and Constitution Avenue, and crashed into a barricade at 2nd Street and Maryland Avenue. No officers were shot at the scene, said Dine. The medevac helicopter that landed on the National Mall brought the wounded police officer to MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
The Capitol Building is less than two miles down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. Its grounds, in central D.C., occupy more than 270 acres of buildings and park space.
“We have no indication this is related to terrorism,” Dine said. “This appears to be an isolated incident with this one vehicle involved.”
Capitol Hill Police are coordinating with other law enforcement agencies, including D.C. Police and the FBI. No other federal buildings are on any heightened state of alert, Dine said.
This is a developing story. Check back for further updates.
Unconfirmed social media reports depict the atmosphere around the Capitol.
Something happening outside Capitol. Police running around with guns at ready. pic.twitter.com/7JkF5fMzfS
— Alex Leary (@learyreports) October 3, 2013
No joke on Capitol Hill as Cops are running with machine guns as reports of shots being fired at Capitol pic.twitter.com/vdjAKkLP4y
— Marc Schloss (@marcschloss) October 3, 2013
PHOTO: People running for cover after shots fired at Capitol (photo/AFP): pic.twitter.com/ukoxczxvJL
— David Beard (@dabeard) October 3, 2013