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Woman shot dead outside U.S. Capitol after chase

Published: Updated:

A woman was shot dead outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday after a car chase that began when she tried to ram through a White House barricade.

The woman was driving a black Infiniti with a young child inside, according to the Associated Press.

The incident prompted a brief lockdown of Congress amid heavy security presence, Al Arabiya correspondent in Washington reported.

Tourists watched the shooting unfold outside the Capitol as lawmakers inside debated how to end a government shutdown.

Police described the shooting as an isolated event and saw no indications of terrorism, AP reported.

The car chase began when a car with Connecticut plates sped onto the driveway leading to the White House, over a set of lowered barricades.

When she couldn’t get through a second barrier, she spun the car in the opposite direction, flipping a Secret Service officer over the hood of the car as she sped away, said B.J. Campbell, a visiting tourist.

A fleet of police and Secret Service cars chased the Infiniti toward Capitol Hill.

“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 AP.

“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 added.

He 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.”

The Senate’s top security official Terrance Gainer said a child was taken from the car to a hospital but said he knew of no harm to the youngster. Tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah said the child appeared to be about 2 to 3 years old.

A police officer was injured in the traffic accident but Gainer said the injuries were not life threatening.

(With AP and Reuters)