Driver arrested after striking police cruiser at the U.S. Capitol

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A woman has been taken into custody after striking a police cruiser and nearly running over officers outside the Rayburn building on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, officials and witnesses say. Shots were fired by police officers.

The incident happened at around 9:22 a.m. ET on Wednesday when police tried to stop an “erratic and aggressive” driver in the area of 100 Independence Avenue SW, which is just outside the Rayburn House Office Building and the U.S. Botanic Garden.

“While attempting to stop the vehicle on Independence Avenue, the driver negotiated a U-turn and fled the scene, nearly striking officers and struck at least one other vehicle,” said Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police.

Malecki said a brief pursuit followed until the vehicle was stopped in the area of Washington and Independence Avenues SW. “During the attempt to arrest the suspect, shots were fired, however no individuals were injured during the arrest,” she said.

It was not immediately known what prompted the woman to flee or whether she intentionally tried to run over police officers, as was initially reported. Malecki said the incident appears to be “criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism.”

Capitol Police have advised people to stay clear of the area until further notice, but the Capitol complex was not placed on lockdown. “The U.S. Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms are aware of and are monitoring the situation,” a notice to staff at the Capitol said.

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