The top 10 stories of 2013: #5-1
#5 - A shooting and car chase at the Capitol
Just weeks after the Navy Yard shooting, Washington was shaken yet again on Oct. 3 when a woman was shot and killed after leading police on a short but wild chase to the Capitol and crashing into a barrier.
Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old Connecticut woman, first tried to drive through a barrier at the White House that Thursday afternoon before being chased by police down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. She hit a police car near Garfield Circle before hitting another barrier just steps from the iconic building.
Authorities opened fire on Carey's vehicle during the chase, and Carey was hit and killed by a gunshot. In the wake of the shooting, Carey's family continues to insist that lethal force wasn't necessary, saying that she had been diagnosed with postpartum depression and psychosis before the incident.
#4 - Bob McDonnell's tough year
Gov. Bob McDonnell’s final year in office began with accomplishment and is ending with trouble.
Gov. McDonnell was riding high at the start of his final term. The General Assembly passed Virginia’s most significant transportation funding package in more than a quarter century with bipartisan support. But things quickly turned sour, obscured by headlines about investigations of McDonnell’s relationship with Jonnie Williams Sr., the CEO of Star Scientific who showered gifts and loans on the governor and his family.
“It’s been a tough year,” the governor said in December.
The Washington Post later reported that federal prosecutors were prepared to bring charges against McDonnell and his wife, but delayed a decision after an appeal by the family’s attorneys.
#3 - High hopes and crushing failure for the Washington Redskins
Controversy began for the Washington Redskins in the opening month of 2013, when head coach Mike Shanahan allowed Robert Griffin III to play in Washington’s home playoff game against Seattle with a sprained knee.
Griffin tore two ligaments in that knee in the Redskins loss against Seattle, sidelining him for the off-season and kick-starting months of discussion surrounding the health of the franchise quarterback.
After sitting out the preseason, Griffin made his first start of the season at home, week one against Philadelphia on Monday Night Football. Griffin was slow to shake off the rust of injury and an idle offseason in that loss against the Eagles, a harbinger of things to come for the Redskins.
A Redskins season that started with such promise – and sky high expectations – back in September ended with a thud on Dec. 30 when Shanahan was fired after guiding his team to a 3-13 record, his third losing campaign in four years.
Washington opened the season by dropping its first three games and five of its first eight, a stretch eased by dramatic home wins over Chicago and San Diego. The Redskins struggled mightily late in the season, losing eight straight games to end the season amid seemingly endless controversy surrounding Shanahan, quarterback Robert Griffin III and owner Dan Snyder.
Late in the season, rumors swirled that Shanahan nearly quit his job before the playoff game against Seattle, upset over what he perceived as the overly-close relationship between Griffin and Snyder. With so much controversy swirling, Griffin privately told teammates during the season that he expected to play for a new coach next year.
#2 - Tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard
It started with reports of gunshots at Southeast Washington's historic Navy Yard, and by the end of the day, 12 innocent people had been killed in yet another mass shooting.
Aaron Alexis, a former government contractor from Texas, carried out a deadly 70-minute rampage at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, killing 12 people and leaving four others injured.
The FBI says Alexis believed he was being controlled by low-frequency electronic waves. Alexis, a military contractor, was eventually shot and killed by officers. The massacre prompted a sweeping federal review of security clearance procedures.
#1 - The 16 days when the government stopped
For 16 days long and unprecedented days, America’s government came to a halt over a budget impasse.
The White House says October’s government shutdown locked out 850,000 federal workers. Locally, the shutdown shuttered the Smithsonian museums, closed national parks and monuments, canceled the White House tours, and cost Metro $5.5 million in passenger fare and parking fees.
Tourism really took a hit. The shutdown even threatened to cancel the Marine Corps Marathon.
#5 - A shooting and car chase at the Capitol