Byline: Bradley Klapper and Laurie Kellman
WASHINGTON -- A woman with a 1-year-old girl led Secret Service and police on a harrowing car chase from the White House past the Capitol Thursday, attempting to penetrate the security barriers at both national landmarks before she was shot to death, police said. The child survived.
''I'm pretty confident this was not an accident,'' said Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Still, Capitol Police said there appeared to be no terrorist link. The woman apparently was unarmed.
Authorities identified the woman as Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn. They had difficulty identifying her because of the extent of her injuries.
The Stamford police roped off and evacuated Ms. Carey's condominium complex Thursday afternoon and bomb units stood by. F.B.I. agents were also looking to interview the woman's relatives in Brooklyn. Neighbors in Connecticut said Ms. Carey had a child, but it was unclear if the toddler in the car was hers.
Dr. Brian L. Evans, a periodontist in Hamden, Conn., for whom Ms. Carey had worked until about a year ago, said that he believed that she had suffered a significant head injury sometime during the year she was employed by him.
He described Ms. Carey as having "a bit of a temper,'' but "nothing unusual, nothing that would ever lead us to think she would ever do anything like this.''
Tourists, congressional staff and even some senators watched as a caravan of law enforcement vehicles chased a black Infiniti with Connecticut license plates down Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol. House and Senate lawmakers, inside debating how to end a government shutdown, briefly shuttered their chambers as Capitol Police shut down the building.
The woman's car at one point had been surrounded by police cars and she managed to escape, careening around a traffic circle and past the north side of the Capitol. Video shot by a TV camerman showed police pointing firearms at her car before she rammed a Secret Service vehicle and continued driving.
Lanier said police shot and killed her a block northeast of the historic building.
One Secret Service member and a 23-year veteran of the Capitol Police were injured. Officials said they are in good condition and expected to recover.
''This appears to be an isolated, singular matter, with, at this point, no nexus to terrorism,'' said Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine.
The pursuit began when the car sped onto a driveway leading to the White House, over a...