US & Canada

Police chase in Washington ends in shooting and crash

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Media captionVideo shot by Alhurra TV shows a part of the chase near the Capitol

A police chase in Washington DC has ended in gunfire, sparking panic at the White House and US Capitol and leaving a woman dead and two officers injured.

The chase and wreck that preceded the shooting were neither an act of terrorism nor an accident, police said.

A female driver was shot dead by police. A one-year-old girl was taken from the car by the officers.

The shooting happened two weeks after 12 people were killed and three injured in a shooting at nearby Navy Yard.

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Media captionChief Lanier: "There were shots fired in at least two locations"

The incident began at 14:12 local time (18:12 GMT) when a suspect in a black Infiniti sedan attempted to bypass fencing at the outer perimeter of the White House, police said.

The suspect fled the scene and led officers on a high-speed chase through Washington DC toward the US Capitol.

The driver, later identified as a woman by authorities, then attempted to bypass barriers along the western front lawn of the Capitol, where the Senate and House of Representatives sit.

News video shows officers surrounding the black car with guns drawn. The driver then sped away as officers appeared to open fire. Police gave chase.

During the chase, a police car struck a barrier and the suspect hit a US Secret Service vehicle.

At that point, the suspect's vehicle crashed near the Capitol.

'We heard pops'

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said both Capitol Police and Secret Service officers fired on the vehicle in two different locations during the incident.

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Media captionTwo US Senators 'heard gun shots'

"The suspect was struck by gunfire and... has been pronounced" dead, she said.

A one-year-old child was found in the vehicle after it crashed and taken to a local hospital, and is now in protective custody, police said.

Authorities declined to comment on the suspect. But multiple officials said they believed the incident was not related to terrorism.

Officials have not said whether the driver of the vehicle was armed.

"I'm pretty confident this is not an accident," Ms Lanier said, adding that the suspect attempted to bypass multiple barriers around heavily protected buildings.

A Secret Service officer and Capitol Police officer were injured during the pursuit.

Chief Kim Dine of the Capitol Police said the injured Capitol Police officer, a 23-year veteran of the force, was "doing well" as of Thursday evening.

Senators, congressmen, staffers and journalists reported hearing shots from inside the US Capitol building.

The surrounding buildings were briefly locked down and lawmakers and staffers were instructed to shelter in place.

"We heard pops, three, four, five pops," said Senator Sherrod Brown, who said he was outside the building and ordered to duck behind a car.

Image caption Heavily armed officers responded to the scene.
Image caption People were seen fleeing from the sounds of gunfire near the US Capitol.
Image caption An armed response unit was seen driving to the US Capitol following reports of a shooting nearby.
Image caption A US Capitol Police officer lies on the Senate steps following initial reports of shots fired nearby.
Image caption The shots were reportedly fired following a police chase in the area between the White House and the US Capitol, where the House and Senate sit.
Image caption Capitol Hill police had the scene of the shooting under tight security.
Image caption Rescue personnel surrounded a damaged police vehicle following the shooting incident near the Capitol.
Image caption A damaged police vehicle was seen following reports of a shooting on Constitution Avenue near the US Capitol.
Image caption Police gathered near the scene of the shooting incident on Capitol Hill.

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