Woman killed as gunfire erupts near Capitol

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Police near the U.S. Capitol opened fire on Thursday on a car being chased by authorities near the White House, hitting a woman driving the vehicle that also contained a child, an intelligence source told CNN.

The female motorist was pronounced dead, said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The child appeared to be uninjured, according to the source and witnesses.

The chaotic scene, with gunfire erupting near the heart of the U.S. government, brought a swarm of emergency vehicles and caused Congress and surrounding offices to be temporarily locked down.

Police also closed Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

CNN’s Athena Jones, who was at a Senate office building near the Capitol, said she heard gunshots that sounded like fireworks.

The FBI dispatched units in response to reports of shots near Garfield Circle, which is on the Senate side of the Capitol.

Capitol Police said an officer injured in the incident was hurt in a crash.

House and Senate sessions were immediately suspended.

A Capitol Police bulletin said reports of gunshots required “all occupants in all House office buildings to shelter in place.”

“Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows,” the bulletin said.

Authorities later lifted the lockdown.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation.

Officials say there is no indication of any link to terrorism. Police say it appears to be an isolated incident involving the lone vehicle.

Witnesses described what they heard and saw in this report:

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