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United States police launch inquiry after deadly car chase

By BBC | October 4th 2013

An investigation is under way after a police chase through the heart of Washington DC ended with a woman driver shot dead and two officers injured.

Police and the FBI quickly sealed off and searched a house in Stamford, Connecticut, believed to be the woman's home, officials said.

Her car had rammed security gates at the White House and police opened fire as she sped off towards Capitol Hill.

A one-year-old girl was taken unharmed from the car by police.

The shooting happened two weeks after 12 people were killed and three injured in a shooting at the nearby Washington Navy Yard.

The woman has not been officially identified.

Although the reason for Thursday's incident is unclear, police said it was neither an act of terrorism nor an accident.

The incident began at 14:12 (18:12 GMT) on Thursday, when the black Infiniti sedan rammed security fencing at the outer perimeter of the White House, police told reporters.

Tourists, congressional staff and senators watched as a convoy of police vehicles chased the car down Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol, where the two houses of Congress meet.

Footage showed the car at one point surrounded by police but the driver managed to escape, speeding around a roundabout.

Images showed police pointing guns at the car before the driver rammed a Secret Service vehicle and carried on driving.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters that officers later shot and killed the woman on a nearby street.

There was no sign that the woman had been armed.

Capitol Police briefly locked down the building where members if the House of Representatives and Senate were debating how to end the current government shutdown.

Police said the two injured officers were in good condition and expected to recover.

Later, Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia said the FBI was executing a search warrant at a Stamford address in connection with the investigation.

Police had cordoned off a condominium and the surrounding area, he said.

The Washington Post, quoting law enforcement officials, said the car was registered to a 34-year-old mother and police believed it was she who had been behind the wheel.

The newspaper said a friend of the family was acting as a spokesman and that the family would release a statement.




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