Reporting Derek Valcourt
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The woman who led police on a chase from the White House to the Capitol is dead. Her bizarre behavior set off a massive police response and injured two officers. But it’s still not clear what was behind it.
Derek Valcourt talked to witnesses caught up in the panic, including some lawmakers from Maryland.
The dramatic altercation may have been caught on camera, but many in Capitol Hill couldn’t see it. They could only hear it.
“First, we heard a large bang and it sounded like a crash or something,” said Justin Herman.
“And we were just like, ‘Was that a gun?’ ‘Cause we heard like six shots, like, ‘Pop pop pop,’” said Jennifer Davis.
Some raced out of their homes after hearing the shots to see for themselves what was going on.
“We were surprised it was so close to where we lived,” Jennifer Clauson said.
David Lowenberg was a block away from where the incident ended. Police ordered him and others back into their homes.
“A few seconds later, I saw a police officer kind of hugging a small child, taking that child away from the scene,” Lowenberg said.
The incident put the entire Capitol complex into lockdown mode, affecting everyone inside, including members of Maryland’s congressional delegation.
“We are trained really what to do in a lockdown. You lock the doors in your office, you turn the lights out and you get away from the windows,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D) Maryland.
Ruppersberger was among hundreds of lawmakers who heard the Capitol’s intercom warnings.
“I join the Majority Leader in expressing our gratitude to the Capitol Police,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer, (D) Maryland.
Congressman Hoyer led a standing ovation on the House floor, crediting Capitol Police for their protection.
“We knew that we were safe, we were concerned. It’s not good for the country to have an event like this. But for our own personal safety, we felt pretty safe,” said Rep. Andy Harris, (R) Maryland.
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