Washington — The female driver whom police fatally shot after a high-speed chase on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon has been identified as Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford.
The shooting happened on Capitol Hill a little after 2 p.m. after Carey’s car, a black sedan with Connecticut license plates, breached a security barrier near the White House.
Police said Carey died at a hospital shortly after being shot. They said there was a 1-year-old child in Carey’s car who was also taken to the hospital but doesn’t appear to be badly hurt.
Law enforcement officials said they did not think terrorism was involved in the incident, which touched off chaos on Capitol Hill and a lockdown of the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings.
“This appears to be a singular incident,” said District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier at an evening press conference. She also stressed that “security perimeters were not breached.”
After Carey’s vehicle tried to jump the security perimeter at the White House, the car struck an officer — who was not badly injured — and set off at high speed on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill. A Secret Service agent was also injured during the chase.
Law enforcement officials at the press conference declined to say if Carey was armed. Nor would they say which officer fired the fatal shot.
The incident stretched nerves worn thin in the U.S. Capitol, scene of a bitter budget battle that has resulted in a shutdown of the federal government.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., was on the Senate floor talking to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others when someone told them there had been a shooting.
“It was pretty dramatic and shocking to be on the Senate floor,” Blumenthal said.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., meanwhile, was in the cloakroom next to the Senate floor when he heard the news. The Senate chamber was then locked down, its heavy doors firmly closed. Murphy remained in the cloakroom.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, was on the House floor, when that chamber was abruptly shut down.
But all the action was not in the U.S. Capitol, but near the Hart Senate Office Building, where Blumenthal and Murphy have offices.
Massive confusion, lack of communication and panic resulted as the Capitol Police put the Capitol – and the House and Senate office buildings – on lockdown and told all lawmakers and their aides by email and over a loudspeaker to “shelter in place.”
Besides District of Columbia and Capitol police, the Secret Service and FBI are investigating the incident.