A car chase that began near the White House ended in a shooting near the Capitol this afternoon.
The car “attempted to pass a barricade in the vicinity of the White House,” where uniformed Secret Service agents tried to stop it, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine says. Police chased the car to the corner of 1st Street and Constitution Avenue NE, where it struck a Capitol Police car, and then crashed into a barricade near 1st Street and Maryland Avenue NE after police fired on it. “We have no information this was related to terrorism,” Dine says. “This appears to be an isolated incident with this one vehicle involved.”
One Capitol Police officer was injured, but not by gunfire, Dine says: “As far as we know, no officer was shot.”
There was a child in the car when police shot at it, Dine says.
UPDATE, 4:18 p.m. Ibraham Bangoura, a mining engineer from Bowie, was standing in front of the Capitol when he heard gunshots behind him.
He turned around and saw a black car speeding, chased by about five police cars. He heard a loud boom, which he assumed was the sound of a car crash.
He says two police officers came to the front of the Capitol and told people to move away.
“I was so scared,” he says. “Some people tried to lower themselves on the ground. I ran away from the building.”
3:30 p.m.: Witnesses say they heard successive gunshots immediately followed by police sirens.
“We went running for cover, we were terrified,” says Giancarlo Refalo, who is visiting from Malta with his wife.
The couple was sitting on a bench in front of the Capitol when the shots went off and said cops were shouting at people to keep down.
Steve Mayes says he was on the Mall when he heard about five rapid gun shots.
Police are now rounding up any witnesses they can find in a crowd of hundreds of reporters on the corner of Louisiana Avenue and 1st Street NW.
Not long ago, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, walked by and said he doesn’t know what happened, and we shouldn’t draw any conclusions.
3:01 p.m. The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms gives the all-clear:
— SenateSergeantAtArms (@SenateSAA) October 3, 2013
Photo by Perry Stein