Thursday, October 3, 2013
A woman killed by police today after a high-speed chase through Washington, D.C., that led to a lockdown of Capitol Hill suffered post-partum depression following the recent birth of her daughter, the suspect's mother told ABC News.
The woman was believed to be Miriam Carey, 34, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn., authorities told the woman's family, according to a family spokesman.
Police earlier said they were witholding the driver of the car involved in the chase pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.
Authorities said the woman led police on a chase down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol after ramming a gate at the White House.
Authorities described Carey has having a "mental illness."
"She had post-partum depression after having the baby" last August, said the woman's mother, Idella Carey.
She added, "A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed. ... She was hospitalized."
Carey had a 1-year-old daughter named Erica, her mother said. Police confirmed that a 1-year-old girl was taken from the car and put in "protective custody."
Idella Carey said her daughter had "no history of violence" and she did not know why she was in Washington, D.C. She said she believed Carey was taking the little girl to a doctor's appointment today in Connecticut.
Dr. Steven Oken, her boss of eight years, described Carey as a "non-political person" who was "always happy."
"I would never in a million years believe that she would do something like this," he said. "It's the furthest thing from anything I would think she would do, especially with her child in the car. I am floored that it would be her."
A neighbor, Erin Jackson, said she believed Carey lived in the Stamford home with the baby and the girl's father. Asked if she believed Carey suffered from a mental illness, Jackson said "absolutely."
Jackson recognized the black Infinity sedan seen on television from the incident as resembling Carey's car. She said the woman's tires recently were slashed in an incident in Connecticut.
Police, including SWAT and bomb disposal units, surrounded Carey's home in Stamford Thursday evening. Police there said they were awaiting a search warrant from Washington, though 50 people from the apartment building already were being evacuated for the night.
Cops said Carey eluded police after they stopped her car and drew their guns. When she continued to flee, she drove "very erratically, very dangerously," said Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer.
She ultimately rammed a police car and was shot by police without exiting the car, Gainer said. Two officers, one from the Capitol Police and one from Secret Service, were injured in the incident.
No weapons were found in the car, police said.
An attempt to ram the White House gates today resulted in a high speed chase to the Capitol and ended with shots fired and a female suspect dead, officials and sources said.
The gunfire sent senators and staffers scrambling inside the Capitol which was put under lockdown.
A child was found unhurt in the suspect's car, authorities said. The woman was not carrying identification and has not been identified. Police said there were no weapons found in the suspect's car.
The incident began when a vehicle rammed a barrier outside the White House at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The car was chased to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NW, police said.
"[The suspect] circled monuments in front of Capitol Hill twice while being pursued. Then she headed toward the Capitol where Capitol Hill police and Secret Service opened fire and shot her," said Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer.
The suspect's car rammed a Capitol Police vehicle and was stopped by an automated barrier near the Hart Senate Building, police said.
Sources said the woman's vehicle is leased with out of state license plates.
"We heard pops that sounded like shots," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told ABC News.
"We heard shots. They told us to get behind a car," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said as he re-entered the Capitol building just moments before it was placed on lockdown.
There is "no information this is related to terrorism or this anything other than an isolated incident," Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told reporters.
A Capitol Police officer, who was initially reported shot, was later found to have been injured in a traffic accident involving an automated barricade during the pursuit.
An initial alert to lawmakers and staffers came around 2:25 p.m. A half hour later at 2:55 p.m., the lockdown was lifted. The Supreme Court was also briefly closed following reports of gunfire.
"Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, emergency supply kits and escape hoods; and move to your office's assigned shelter in place location or the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows," Capitol Police told Congressional staffers staffers in an email.
The Capitol this week is the center of a contentious political battle over an ongoing government shutdown.