U.S. authorities are trying to find out why a woman with a toddler tried to ram her car through a barrier at the White House, sparking a chase that ended with police shooting the woman dead near the U.S. Capitol.
The woman's mother, Idella Carey, has identified the suspect as 34-year-old Miriam Carey. The mother told ABC News her daughter had suffered from postpartum depression after having the baby in August of last year.
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 the security barrier at the White House before leading police on a chase through the streets near the Capitol building. Washington, D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said shots were fired in at least two locations before the driver was shot and killed.
Authorities said two officers were hurt in the incident but are expected to recover. They do not believe the incident is related to the ongoing partial 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 the 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. She then fled at high speed, 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.