U.S. authorities are trying to find out why a woman with a toddler tried to breach a barrier at the White House, sparking a car chase that ended with police shooting her dead at the U.S. Capitol.
The woman's mother, Idella Carey, has identified the suspect as 34-year old Miriam Carey. She told ABC News her daughter had suffered from post-partum depression after having a baby last August.
Authorities have identified the suspect as a black female. Police sources say the woman had a history of mental issues and thought President Barack Obama was communicating with her.
Lawmakers and other staffers in the U.S. Capitol Building were put on lockdown for about an hour as the situation unfolded Thursday, but police say there never was a threat to lawmakers inside.
The driver attempted to breach a security barrier at the White House before leading police on a chase through the streets near the Capitol Building. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said shots were fired in at least two locations before the driver was shot to death.
Authorities said two officers were hurt in the incident but both are expected to recover. They do not believe the incident is related to the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.
Police say the child was removed from the car after the shooting and is in good condition.
A witness told VOA's Indonesian service he was less than 20 meters away when he saw a car racing toward the Capitol pursued by police cars. He said police stopped the car and approached it with guns drawn and ordered the driver out.
Instead, the witness said, the driver accelerated in reverse, smashing into a police car and spinning around. The driver then began to speed off, and police fired at the car.
U.S.-funded Alhurra TV captured footage of much of the incident.
Officials said President Barack Obama was inside the White House at the time and was briefed on the reports.
Washington's Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident in conjunction with three other branches of law enforcement: the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI.
The incident took place about two weeks after a shooting at a U.S. Naval facility in Washington left 13 people dead, including the mentally-disturbed gunman.