WASHINGTON - An attempt to ram the White House gates today resulted in a high speed chase to the Capitol and ended with shots fired and a female suspect dead, officials said.
The gunfire sent senators and staffers scrambling inside the Capitol which was put under lockdown.
A child was found unhurt in the suspect's car, authorities said. After making an initial identification of the suspect, police are trying to confirm that the suspect is a 34-year-old woman from Stamford, Conn., with a history of mental health issues.
A police bomb squad was outside the Stamford address tonight.
Police said there were no weapons found in the suspect's car.
The incident began when a vehicle rammed a barrier outside the White House at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The car was chased to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NW, police said.
"[The suspect] circled monuments in front of Capitol Hill twice while being pursued. Then she headed toward the Capitol where Capitol Hill police and Secret Service opened fire and shot her," said Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer.
At one point, a group of at least five cops surrounded the woman's stopped car with their guns drawn. The suspect, driving a black two-door sedan, appeared not to heed their commands and sped off, nearly running over a couple of officers, as seen in a video obtained by ABC News.
With their pistols drawn, cops "were shouting at the driver," Frank Schwing, a furloughed Commerce Department employee, told ABC News. "At that point the driver put [the car] in reverse, drove back, and slammed into a cruiser."
The officers ran back to their cars and began chasing the woman again toward the Capitol.
The suspect's car rammed a Capitol Police vehicle and was stopped by an automated barrier near the Hart Senate Building, police said. Officers were authorized to shoot at the car.
Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said shots were fired at several points during the chase.
Ed Donovan of the Secret Service said the car was initially stopped at an outer perimeter checkpoint of the White House and no shots were fired at the White House.
In fleeing the White House scene, the suspect hit a Secret Service officer with her car, Donovan said.
During the pursuit, the woman struck several cars a Capitol Police officer was injured in a traffic accident involving an automated barricade during the chase.
According to Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office, the officer injured was assigned to protect the congressman at one time.
"They said shots fired, and an officer injured," McCarthy said. "I'm hearing reports that the officer injured may have been in my detail."
"We heard pops that sounded like shots," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told ABC News.
"We heard shots. They told us to get behind a car," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said as he re-entered the Capitol building just moments before it was placed on lockdown.
There is "no information this is related to terrorism or this anything other than an isolated incident," Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told reporters.
An initial alert to lawmakers and staffers came around 2:25 p.m. A half hour later at 2:55 p.m., the lockdown was lifted. The Supreme Court was also briefly closed following reports of gunfire.
"Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, emergency supply kits and escape hoods; and move to your office's assigned shelter in place location or the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows," Capitol Police told Congressional staffers staffers in an email.
"There's a lot of police and ambulances flying around the capitol and sirens going off. things have been happening around the county, and this is something that hits a little closer to home since I'm here," said Congressman David Valadao.