Updated 6:21 pm ET
A woman was shot and killed by police after ramming her car into an entrance near the White House and then leading police on a high-speed chase that ended near the U.S. Capitol.
It appears woman, who had a young child in the car, rammed a White House barrier or gate at around 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Treasury Department. She then drove down to Constitution Avenue and headed toward the Capitol. The suspect was shot and killed as police tried to stop her, but she apparently did not have a gun. Nevertheless, officers appear to have exercised considerable restraint, holding fire after she was at one point surrounded and allowing her to momentarily escape.
A policeman was wounded when his car hit something during the chase. The child was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
It appears to me this is more of a White House incident than a Capitol incident – it may just be a coincidence that she headed toward the Capitol. A lockdown that was in place at the Capitol has been lifted. Police are saying it appears to be an isolated incident.
Obama was in the White House at the time of the ramming and has been briefed on the incident. The 15th Street entrance is actually on the opposite side of the White House grounds from the West Wing. She would have had to roll through both barriers and the White House gate to get onto the actual grounds, which seems an unlikely task for a single car without explosives.
Were she to have made it onto the grounds, she would have faced a small paramilitary operation equipped with a variety of small arms that, if employed in time, would have taken the car out. I’ve been on the White House grounds when the Secret Service has been activated to face possible emergencies and I can tell you it’s fast and it’s impressive.
To give you some idea, 15th Street and Pennsylvania Ave is on the lower right hand corner of the photograph below. The residence is where you see “The White House” in white, and the West Wing is over where the W in the green “White House Rose Garden” tag is on the left. E St NW is blocked from traffic until 15th St, where it turns into Pennsylvania Ave.
Don’t worry, this is all publicly available information, I’m not giving anything away.
Note: I was not at the White House at the time of the incident and I relied on news reports and pool reports from the White House.