WASHINGTON – A police chase near the U.S. Capitol ended in a chaotic scene Wednesday evening with police shooting and killing a fleeing man after he pulled a gun on officers.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said the incident happened around 5:15 p.m. when police attempted to stop a white Mercedes Benz near Union Station. The car then fled and hit a police officer before driving the wrong way on Louisiana Avenue down Capitol Hill.
That officer was one of two injured in the incident. The other officer was hit while on a motorcycle. Neither were seriously injured.
The suspect, who has yet to be identified publicly, then crashed the car into a squad car, climbed out and showed his gun. After failing to respond to commands, officers shot him, Schneider said. The man died on the way to the hospital.
Schneider described the melee as "very fast moving, very fluid... The officers felt they were being threatened — they were in fear for their lives."
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer, the top security officer for the Senate, said the suspect fired at officers before he was shot.
The late afternoon scare occurred as lawmakers were wrapping up a third day of hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Police briefly sealed off part of the Capitol as a precaution, but the buildings were reopened about a half-hour later. Authorities said the shooting was not related to the Capitol complex.
"We hear pop, pop, pop, like a gun," said Carol Lanigan, of Toledo, Ohio, describing how she saw a white car come flying down the street with two police cars chasing it.
She said she heard about four or five shots.
"There were so many gunshots being fired, my family got down," said Robert Drumm of Oklahoma, who was touring the nation's capital with his family.
Numerous emergency vehicles converged quickly on the area.
Lanigan's husband, Dale Lanigan, described a similar scene, saying that as the car sped past him "the driver had one hand on the wheel and it looked like he was reaching for something."
Lanigan said he then heard shots and police ordered him to get away.
Capitol police were working with the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate the incident, Schneider said. It wasn't immediately clear why police first attempted to conduct the traffic stop.
FOX News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.