(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Updated Oct. 4, 10:51 a.m. | A female suspect was killed by police after a car chase from the White House to the Capitol, law enforcement officials confirmed Thursday evening.
A Capitol Police officer was injured in a crash with the suspect’s car and airlifted to an area hospital. Bryan Carter, a 23-year veteran of force, was treated and released from MedStarWashington Hospital Center, by 9:30 p.m. Thursday. A Secret Service agent was also injured, officials reported, but no details on that agent’s condition were given.
A child who was in the suspect’s car was not harmed, but was taken to the hospital, officials said at a news conference Thursday evening. The one-year-old female child rescued from the suspect’s vehicle by a Capitol Police officer sustained no injuries. She was examined, then released from a local hospital and placed in protective custody.
A car chase that started at the White House ended on Capitol Hill in front of the Hart Senate Office building with Capitol Hill police discharging their guns. Here police evacuate a small child who was in one of the cars involved in the high speed chase into the Hart building to the medical facility. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Four road closures remained in effect overnight as the investigation continued on the northern side of Capitol Hill. Roads were reopened in time for morning traffic.
The Metropolitan Police Department is leading the effort, with support from the Capitol Police, Secret Service, and the FBI.
“Based on preliminary findings, this was an isolated incident with no nexus to terrorism,” the Capitol Police said in a Thursday night statement. “The response to this incident was swift and our established security procedures worked. We would like to commend the men and women from the [Capitol Police] for their bravery.”
Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters that shots were fired at two separate locations outside the Capitol Thursday, as police attempted to stop the woman, who Lanier said tried to breach security at both the White House and on the Capitol grounds. Police officers fired on the suspect’s car near Garfield Circle, but the fatal shots appear to have been delivered when after the car crashed on the 100 block of Maryland Avenue NE. The car chase started at 15th and E streets outside the White House, Lanier confirmed.
Lanier said it was important to note that security measures at both the White House and the Capitol “worked.” Amid questions about whether the suspect’s actions were accidental in nature, Lanier said she couldn’t say for certain but was “pretty confident this is not an accident.”
Law enforcement officials declined to give any details about the suspect’s identity, and Lanier noted they were still investigating the incident and would have to notify the woman’s next of kin before releasing her name. Some news outlets reported that the car the woman was driving had Connecticut license plates.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer earlier confirmed that the Capitol Police officer did not appear to have life-threatening injuries. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has the lead on the investigation, in cooperation with the Capitol Police, the Secret Service and the Park Police.
Gainer told CQ Roll Call that “the woman did have a child in the car. Child was not injured. I don’t know the age. The child has been taken to a local hospital.”
Gainer said there is no profile on the female suspect yet.
“The great news is, it’s not terrorism-related and what caused the woman to do whatever she did down at the White House, I’m not sure. Why the Secret Service ultimately chased her, I mean they were trying to make an arrest and she circled the Peace and Garfield Circles a couple times, and then headed up Constitution. That’s east-bound on Constitution where ultimately there was shots fired from … we’re trying to figure that out, but the Capitol Police, uniformed Secret Service. She was hit. She’s been taken to the hospital,” Gainer said.
Asked if there was any evidence the woman was trying to get into the Capitol, Gainer said, “I don’t know that. She couldn’t get into the Capitol because there’s barricades up.”
The Capitol officer who was injured crashed into a barricade while joining the pursuit.
“On something like this, we begin the lockdown, determine what’s going on, pop the barriers. We gave directions to pop the barriers. The officers down there kept the barriers down for some period of time to let the cars through,” Gainer said.
The injured Capitol Police officer was coming from the north on Louisiana Avenue, Gainer said, and made a left-hand turn to go east on Constitution Avenue. “Just as he came around the corner the barrier was popped,” Gainer said. “All that stuff happens very quick.”
U.S. Capitol Police inspect a police car after a shooting and subsequent police car crash on Constitution Avenue and 1st. Street, NW. The officer was injured in the car crash. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
The officer’s car clipped the barricade and sustained a lot of damage, Gainer said.