Shots fired near Capitol after woman rams police cruiser

Last Updated Mar 29, 2017 5:57 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- A woman drove a vehicle into a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser near the Capitol on Wednesday morning and was taken into custody, police said.

D.C. Metro Police told CBS News there was a call reporting shots fired at 9:30 a.m. on Independence Avenue near the Botanic Gardens. 

Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki described the woman as an “erratic and aggressive driver.” As police attempted to stop her, she made a U-turn and fled, nearly striking officers and striking at least one other vehicle, Malecki said. A brief pursuit followed before the woman was stopped.

Malecki said shots were fired “during the attempt to arrest the suspect,” but she declined to say how many shots were fired or to elaborate further. No one was injured.

Police later identified the suspect as Taleah Everett, a 20-year-old woman with no fixed address. She faces seven counts, including assault on a police officer.

Photos showed Everett being taken into custody:


A woman, center, is taken into custody on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Susan Walsh, AP

A woman, center, is taken into custody on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Susan Walsh, AP

“This incident appears criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Malecki said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

A federal law enforcement official tells CBS News Everett’s name does not appear in the government’s terrorism database.


A car is shown after its driver rammed into a police cruiser outside the U.S. Capitol on March 29, 2017

CBS News

The incident occurred near the end of the morning rush hour and prompted a large police response just as lines of people were waiting to get into a nearby congressional office building. Streets near the Capitol were closed, and the Sergeant at Arms advised lawmakers and staff to stay away from the area. 


A map showing the site of the incident on Capitol Hill on March 29, 2017

CBS News

Scott Ferson, president of Liberty Square Group, a Boston-based communications firm, said he suddenly saw a dozen Capitol Police cars moving quickly toward the Botanic Garden. Ferson said he heard what sounded like three gunshots. 

“I heard pop, pop, pause, pop and I said ‘Oh, that was gunfire,’” he said by phone. Police called to everyone in the area to get off the street, but then things seemed to calm down and he headed to his meeting.

Almost exactly one year ago, Capitol Police shot a man after he pulled a weapon at a checkpoint as spring tourists thronged Washington. The suspect was previously known to police, who last October had arrested him for disrupting House of Representatives proceedings and yelling he was a “Prophet of God.”