Capitol Hill police say a mother armed with a car rammed a barricade at the White House on Thursday before leading police on a chase that ended in fatal gunfire.
Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's most secure cities, and the high-speed hunt put the U.S. Capitol on lockdown as gunshots echoed in the street.
Investigators say the woman driving the black Infiniti was desperate to get past any checkpoint she could. First, she tried the White House. Next, she backed into a squad car near the Capitol. Finally, she took off again while Capitol police opened fire in front of the Hart Senate Office building, which is where U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office is located.
"Some of the Republican staff came in and said, 'Get down, get away from the windows. People are taking cover outside. There's been a shooting,'" Klobuchar told FOX 9 News.
Mohamed Farah, a Somali youth organizer from Minneapolis, had just finished testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee when the shooting occurred.
"I was nervous," he admitted. "A lot of people were nervous. No one knew what was going on."
Hours after the afternoon shooting, it's still unclear whether officers knew the 34-year-old mother's 1-year-old child was in the car with her during the chase down Pennsylvania Avenue; however, the woman who was killed never left the driver's seat. Her child is in good condition and is now in protective custody.
Investigator say the incident is isolated and is not connected to terrorism, but police have declined to discuss a motive. The Connecticut resident reportedly has a history of mental illness, but police will not say whether she was armed. Police did confirm the only shots fired were from either the Secret Service or Capitol police.
"These police officers have no idea what it is that's coming their way," Klobuchar said. "Is it a suicide bomber?"
Due to the government shutdown, the officers who responded to the chase were not getting paid for their response.