Investigators Probe Deadly Capitol Hill Shooting

Washington, D.C's Capitol Hill was the scene of a car chase that ended in tragedy Thursday. The female suspect was pronounced dead. A female child was in the vehicle and was taken to a local hospital for observation. There were no injuries to the child. Police say it was an isolated incident with no links to terrorism.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We are learning more details about the woman who rammed her car into a White House security barrier yesterday. Her name is Miriam Carey. She's from Stamford, Connecticut. She was fatally shot after leading police on a chase from the White House to the U.S. Capitol. Her mother has told ABC News that she was battling depression. In yesterday's chaos, two law enforcement officers were injured, and one has been treated and released from a hospital. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang has the latest.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: The suspect's mother says Miriam Carey was suffering from postpartum depression, following the birth of her daughter last August. Carey drove a black Infiniti with Connecticut license plates and a one-year-old passenger. She slammed her car into a barricade and a Secret Service officer at the edge of the White House grounds before fleeing towards Capitol Hill. Secret Service agent Ed Donovan spoke at a press conference yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

AGENT ED DONOVAN: There were multiple crime scenes as a result of the vehicle fleeing. There were multiple shots fired at several different locations.

WANG: D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said checkpoints at the White House and the Capitol were effective.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

POLICE CHIEF CATHY LANIER: They did exactly what they were supposed to do, and they stopped a suspect from breaching the security perimeters, both in a vehicle - I mean, in a vehicle at both locations.

WANG: The car crashed just outside the Capitol grounds. Officers said the suspect was pronounced dead after a final round of gunfire. Justin Herman, a federal employee, lives near the crash site.

JUSTIN HERMAN: I'm a furloughed employee so I'm home. I'm down in my apartment. And all of a sudden I hear a loud bang, and all of a sudden I see: Shots fired at the Capitol come across on Twitter. And as soon as I saw that, then I heard boom boom boom boom boom boom boom as, like, clips are unloading.

WANG: David Loewenberg also lives nearby. He said after he heard gunfire outside his home, he walked toward a guard post by one of the Capitol office buildings.

DAVID LOWENBERG: And I could make out kind of a black car on the other side of the guard post. So I could only see part of it. And then a few seconds later I saw a police officer with his or her arms around a small child and taking that child away from the scene.

WANG: Law enforcement officers say the one-year-old girl was found in the suspect's vehicle uninjured. She was later taken to a local hospital and is now in protective custody.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The shelter-in-place order has been cancelled. Additional information will follow.

WANG: A shelter-in-place order was imposed on buildings around the complex until Capitol Police lifted the order about an hour later. Trickles of office workers and tourists eventually emerged onto the Capitol grounds. Congressman Juan Vargas of California said he was approaching from the train station when he heard...

REPRESENTATIVE JUAN VARGAS: Pop, pop. But I didn't think anything of it, to be honest. As I kept walking, that's when a police officer comes running frantically towards me and told me to stop. And he goes you've got a shelter in place.

WANG: Lauren Bladen-White works a few blocks north. She sheltered in her office building's basement with more than 30 co-workers. She said the scene she saw outside after the incident was surreal.

LAUREN BLADEN-WHITE: Capitol Police officers with their guns drawn running down the street, and the emergency vehicles and, you know, unmarked cars. And just in an instant, everything was shut down around here.

WANG: Corey Arume from Hawaii was at the Capitol with his wife and two daughters. Officers shooed them a few blocks away, so they had to settle for a more distant view. And safety was not a major concern.

COREY ARUME: If you could see how many cops with machine guns standing on that road, feel pretty safe.

WANG: Officials say the incident was isolated, and they think it had nothing to do with terrorism. Details are still emerging as the investigation continues. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News, Washington.

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