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Police: Female Suspect Shot After Car Chase from White House

Officials in Washington, D.C. say police have shot a woman who tried to drive through a barricade near the White House before speeding away and being chased to the U.S. Capitol.

Capitol police say the woman crashed into a police vehicle during the chase, injuring one officer. He was later airlifted from the scene by a medical helicopter.

The U.S. Capitol was put under a brief security lockdown as the situation unfolded. But there never was a threat to lawmakers inside the building.

A police official briefing reporters said the incident appeared to be "isolated" and was not related to terrorism. The official would not comment on the condition of the woman driver. Video of the incident also showed a child being taken from the car.

A witness told VOA's Indonesia 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 of the car.

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 into the car.

U.S.-funded Alhurra TV captured footage of what appeared to be a chaotic car chase.

In a notice sent by email, Capitol police advised people inside the Capitol building to "close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows." VOA congressional correspondent Cindy Saine said some members were briefly locked inside the House chamber.

The Senate also halted all business before the lockdown was lifted, and the Secret Service cleared people off Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

Officials said President Barack Obama was inside the White House at the time and was briefed on the reports.

A senior lawmaker, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, expressed his gratitude for the U.S. Capitol police for their tireless dedication.

The incident happened during a partial government shutdown that began Tuesday after lawmakers could not reach agreement on a spending bill.

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