WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 3, 2013) -- The U.S. Capitol was placed on lockdown this afternoon after a woman tried to ram a car into the White House gate, was chased by Secret Service and exchanged shots with police, sources said.
According to area media, the suspect — who had a child in the car — was shot and killed, and a shelter-in-place order was lifted at about 3 p.m. At least one Capitol Police officer was injured but apparently not shot.
"The United States Capitol Police have stabilized the incident," officials said in a message.
President Barack Obama was briefed about the harrowing incident, which came in the midst of the government shutdown that has created a tense atmosphere on Capitol Hill.
It started a little after 2 p.m. when the woman in a black car tried to breach White House security at 15th St. and E, law-enforcement sources said.
She did not get through and was chased at high speeds for about 12 blocks, the sources said. Near the Capitol, she began firing and was shot, the sources said. The child was reported to be safe.
Her motive was unknown but Capitol Police said there was no reason to think it was an act of terrorism.
Travis Gillbert, who watched the chase from the roof of the Newseum, said vehicles involved "had several close encounters with other vehicles during the case."
"It was very dangerous," he said.
An NBC satellite truck operator saw several police cars with lights flashing near the gardens below the Capitol when he suddenly heard rapid-fire shots. Several police cars could then be seen chasing the black car, he reported.
The FBI responded to the scene, and a helicopter landed in front of the Capitol to medevac the injured officer.
A message from the Capitol Police ordered anyone in a House office to "shelter in place," but that order was lifted a short time later.
The House recessed, and the Senate went into a quorum call — dispensing momentarily with its official business — shortly thereafter.
“We’ve locked the doors. We closed the window shades. And we are awaiting further instructions,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) told MSNBC during the lockdown. “We’re more or less cut off here. We’re watching TV and just trying to figure out what happened.”
Though it was over quickly, nerves were still jangled.
"Shaken is a good word to describe how I'm feeling," said Peter Plocki, a government worker furloughed during the shutdown who was on Capitol Hill to take a tour of the Supreme Court building and heard the shots.
Congress has been locked for the past week and a half in a contentious debate over funding the government, a disagreement in which contributed to a government shutdown that came to pass at the end of Monday.
Last night, Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, R, was the victim of a "minor incident" outside of the Capitol complex.
"A random individual, unknown to the Congressman, began screaming at him and grabbed his arm," a spokesperson for Duffy said in describing the incident. "Mr. Duffy was unharmed. He reported the incident in compliance with House security procedures. Congressman Duffy has requested no further action be taken and there will be no further comment on the matter at this time."
Individuals can be seen running Thursday at the U.S. Capitol following gun shots.
On September 16, a deadly shooting occurred blocks south of the U.S. Capitol complex which contributed to a partial lockdown of the Capitol at that time.
A shooting on July 24, 1998 left two Capitol Police officers dead. And at a constituent event in her district in January 2011, then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was seriously injured and six others were killed in a shooting.