Tuesday 25 July 2017

Shots fired as woman tries to mow down police at US Capitol Building

Police investigate at the scene of the incident on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Police investigate at the scene of the incident on Capitol Hill in Washington yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Ian Simpson

A woman was arrested near the US Capitol Building in Washington after police said she drove erratically, crashed into another vehicle and tried to run over officers yesterday.

No one was hurt during the morning commotion, during which police fired shots, and the incident did not appear related to terrorism, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said.

"Although preliminary, this incident appears criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism," she said.

The events came a week after five people were killed and about 40 injured in London, when a car ploughed into pedestrians near Britain's parliament and the suspected militant Islamist-inspired attacker fatally stabbed a police officer.

The drama near the Capitol began after officers attempted a traffic stop for an erratic driver. The woman made a U-turn and drove away, nearly hitting officers and striking at least one other vehicle, Ms Malecki said.

When police stopped the car after a brief pursuit, they fired shots as they tried to arrest the suspect, she said. She declined to say why officers opened fire, noting the incident remains under investigation.

The woman has not been identified.

As the incident unfolded, a Reuters reporter saw two Capitol police officers running down the western side of Capitol Hill holding assault rifles.

Operations inside the white-domed Capitol appeared normal however. After the incident, television footage showed officers and police vehicles surrounding a dark-coloured sedan blocked off by police tape.

In 2013, Capitol police shot and killed the driver of a car carrying a one-year-old girl after a chase from near the White House to the Capitol.

Irish Independent

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