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UPDATE: Woman Dead After Chaotic Capitol Car Chase

CBSNews -- A car chase that began with a vehicle crashing into a security barrier near the White House ended with gunshots fired near the U.S. Capitol earlier this afternoon.

Updated at 5:35 p.m.


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Chaos on Capitol Hill

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Witnesses describe chaos of D.C. car chase, shooting

A woman who struck a security barrier with her car near the White House took police on a high-speed chase through Washington, D.C., ending with officers opening fire and shooting her to death near the U.S. Capitol earlier Thursday afternoon.

CBS News' Bob Orr reports that at around 1 p.m., a black Infiniti coupe struck a barrier at 15th and E Sts. NW, one block from the White House. Officials don't know if she deliberately rammed the barrier or simply sideswiped it. The driver, a woman, then sped off, driving erratically east on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, toward the Capitol, with Secret Service officers in pursuit. A federal official tells CBS News that the pursuit was high-speed through busy city streets, and that the woman was weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights.

"The car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over the curb," Matthew Coursen, who was on his way to a legislative office building when the Infiniti sped by him, told the Associated Press. "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."

Coursen watched the shooting from his cab window.

"I thought to myself, 'The car is getting blocked in. The car is going to surrender,'" he said. "Now the cop has his weapon out. The car kept trying to get away. Then he fired shots."

At 1st St. and Constitution Ave., NW, on Capitol Hill, she hit a police cruiser with a policeman inside. That officer was injured and his injuries are not life threatening, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. Another Secret Service officer was also injured, though Washington, D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said his injuries are not serious.

Shortly thereafter, at 2nd St. and Maryland Ave., NE, she jumped a curb and stopped her vehicle, leaving a child behind in the car and attempted to flee the scene, according to the federal official. Multiple officers then fired multiple gunshots; the woman was hit by gunfire and died, Orr reports.

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U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told reporters that there is no information to indicate the incident was an act of terrorism or anything other than an isolated incident.

The U.S. Capitol was put on lockdown after the gunshots fired and the area was put on high alert. Those inside the Capitol were told to shelter in place until the order was lifted close to 3 p.m.

Just prior to the lockdown, the U.S. House passed legislation aimed at reopening parts of the federal government that have been affected by the shutdown.

All federal employees, including Capitol Police and Secret Service, are unpaid during the shutdown and won't receive paychecks until the shutdown has ended. Federal employees deemed essential during the shutdown - those currently working - will automatically receive back pay; non-essential workers who are currently on furlough will only receive back pay if Congress approves that spending.


Updated at 3:25 p.m.


A car chase that began with a vehicle crashing into a security barrier near the White House ended with gunshots fired near the U.S. Capitol earlier this afternoon.

32 PHOTOS

Chaos on Capitol Hill

CBS News' Bob Orr reports that a vehicle struck a barrier at 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., in front of the Treasury Building, one block from the White House. The driver, a woman, began driving erratically toward the Capitol with Secret Service officers in pursuit. A federal official tells CBS News that the pursuit was high-speed on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, a busy city street, and that the woman was weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights.

At 1st St. and Constitution Ave., NW, on Capitol Hill, she hit a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser with a policeman inside. That officer was injured and his injuries are not life threatening, according to the U.S. Capitol Police.

Shortly thereafter, near 1st St. and Constitution Ave., NE, she stopped her vehicle leaving a child behind in the car and attempted to flee the scene, according to the federal official. In the vicinity of 2nd or 3rd St. and Constitution Ave., NE, multiple officers fired multiple gunshots. The woman was hit by gunfire and died, Orr reports.

CBSNEWS / MAPBOX

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told reporters that there is no information to indicate the incident was an act of terrorism or anything other than an isolated incident.

The U.S. Capitol was put on lockdown after the gunshots fired and the area was put on high alert. Those inside the Capitol were told to shelter in place until the order was lifted close to 2 p.m. There is still significant police activity around the building.


Updated at 2:30 p.m.


A lockdown on the U.S. Capitol has been lifted after gunshots fired near the building put the area on high alert. According to other reports by staffers and reporters on the Hill, people were told to shelter in place until the order was lifted close to 2 p.m.. There is still significant police activity around the building.

CBS News' Bob Orr and Bill Plante reported that a vehicle struck a barrier at 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., one block from the White House. The driver, a woman, began driving toward the Capitol with Secret Service officers in pursuit. In the vicinity of 2nd or 3rd St. and Constitution Ave., N.E., there were gunshots fired. One person was apparently hit, Orr reported, and there might have been some injuries.

Plante said President Obama has been notified.

CBSNEWS / MAPBOX

The Associated Press is citing unconfirmed reports that one police officer has been injured. U.S. Capitol Police will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. at 3rd St. and Constitution Ave., N.E.

Capitol Police and local law enforcement agencies are currently processing two crime scenes. One at 1st St. and Constitution Ave. N.E., where an officer was injured in a crash and has now bee transported to a local hospital. The second is at 2nd St. and Maryland Ave., N.E., where a car that does not belong to the U.S. Capitol Police is being processed.

According to CBS News' Alicia Budich, an announcement over the Capitol P.A. system said, "Gunfire heard on Capitol Hill. If you are in an office building shelter in place." Budich reported at 1:52 p.m. that people were able to exit the Capitol out of the South Door.

CBS News' Major Garrett also reports that that the section of Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House has been closed off. U.S. Secret Service told CBS News it was shut down in response to the reports of a shooting.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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