On Thursday, October 3, 2013, at approximately 2:30PM, a driver rammed into a vehicle barricade on 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the White House. The driver then initiated a brief high-speed pursuit, and fled toward Capitol Hill, where shots were fired.
There were senators and tourists near the scene at the time. Edmund Ofori-Attah, a tourist, described how the shooting unfolded after the police chased a black Infiniti coupe up Constitution Avenue. Attah walked toward the scene as the car stopped, when he heard gunfire and went to the ground for protection. Senator Bob Casey, from Pennsylvania, was walking across the street from the Capitol to the Senate Russell Office Building when he noticed officers speeding past on motorcycles. He also told reporters that “within seconds of that, he heard pops that sounded like shots”. Senator Sherrod Brown also noted how officials made them crouch down behind a vehicle for cover. FBI agents rushed to the scene and officers moved people into the Capitol. Those standing outside the Supreme Court were hustled into the court building as well. There was a brief lockdown of the entire complex, for precautionary measures.
This incident comes two weeks after the Navy Yard shooting that killed thirteen individuals, including the suspect. In this case, there were no weapons used by the suspect or found in the car. The Capitol Hill incident injured police officers, who are expected to recover, and also left the suspect, Miriam Carey, dead due to gun shot wounds. Fortunately, her one-year old child, who was later found to be in the car, was not injured.
According to family and friends, Carey suffered from post-partum depression and other mental issues, but they believed that she was feeling and doing much better. A man who spoke to reporters expressed his current concerns about mental health issues and its effects. “There needs to be more services out there to help those people so that incidents like this that happen around the country don’t happen again.” The incident is being further investigated for more details.
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