'Isolated Incident': Capitol Lockdown Is Lifted After Gunfire

Incident began near White House barricade
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2013 1:43 PM CDT
Updated Oct 3, 2013 3:04 PM CDT
U.S. Capitol Police personnel keep watch on the East Plaza of the Capitol in this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Police have lifted a security lockdown at the US Capitol after gunfire rang out on Capitol Hill this afternoon. Details were still developing, but Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said it appeared to be an "isolated incident" unrelated to terrorism. Eyewitnesses say that police fired on a black sedan during a chase on Constitution Avenue and that a woman and child were taken into custody, reports Politico. The woman appeared to be seriously wounded by gunfire. (Update: The driver has died.) Whatever happened started near the White House. CNN says police stopped the car there, or tried to, but the female driver sped off toward the Capitol, setting off the police chase. The AP says the driver had tried to get through a security barricade that keeps vehicles off Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It was almost like two very rapid fire bursts, very loud,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly, who heard the gunfire while standing on a Capitol balcony, reports the Washington Post. “That’s when we saw people fleeing, and we realized this was no fireworks. It sounded liked the first volley of a 21-gun salute.” It now appears that all the gunfire came from police. The lockdown, during which police advised people to "shelter in place," was in effect for about a half-hour. One officer was reportedly injured in a car crash. (Read more Capitol Hill stories.)

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