It's not entirely clear what led to today's bedlam on the streets around Capitol Hill, but the female driver at the center of it is dead, reports AP. Police shot and killed the unidentified woman as she led them on a high-speed chase from the White House toward the Capitol. A child in the car with her was reportedly unharmed. Authorities don't think it was anything related to terrorism, though it did begin near the White House. Witnesses say the woman drove over one set of lowered barricades on Pennsylvania Avenue but then couldn't get past a second set of concrete barriers.
"The Secret Service guy was just having a cow," a witness tells the Washington Post. "Yelling at her and banging on the car." Agents tried to stop her by pulling a metal gate in front of her, but "she just gunned it," says the witness. "She ran the barricade down and the guy knocked him up onto her hood. He rolled off into the street, and she tore off down Pennsylvania Avenue." Capitol police were soon in hot pursuit, and CNN reports that officers actually stopped the black Infiniti about a mile from the Capitol. They approached on foot, but the driver "slammed into reverse, slammed into a cruiser, did a 180 (-degree turn), took off, and at that point, there were a half dozen or so shots fired," a witness tells the network. All the gunfire is believed to have come from police, and the car then crashed into security barriers a short distance away. One officer was injured, possibly when the driver slammed into the police cruiser. (Read more Capitol Hill stories.)