A woman from Connecticut who crashed through barriers outside the White House and then led police on a car chase up Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Congress before being shot dead by pursuing officers was depressed and had had delusions about President Barack Obama trying to communicate with her.
The driver, identified as Miriam Carey, a dental hygienist living in Stamford, Connecticut, was also said by her mother, Idella Carey, to have suffered from post partum depression. Her child, who is now eighteen months old, was in the back of the car, a black Infiniti saloon, during the shoot-out, but was unharmed.
“A few months later she got sick,” the mother told ABC News, referring to the child’s birth. “She was depressed….she was hospitalised.”
The chase plunged Washington DC into chaos for a few hours yesterday afternoon and came just two weeks after a mentally ill man opened fire at the Navy Yard complex killing 12 people before he also was shot dead by police officers. The authorities fairly quickly concluded it was not an act of terrorism.
Speaking anonymously, an official close to the investigation said interviews with her family had revealed she had been suffering from a deteriorating mental condition over recent months that had led to her to suffer delusional “expressions about the president in the past” and she “believed there was some communications to her”. Her condition had been reported recently to the police department in Stamford.
Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, whose officers have been working without pay as a result of the government shutdown which began at midnight on Monday, called it an “isolated, singular matter”. Yesterday investigators remained at the condominium complex close to downtown Stamford searching for clues in the apartment of Ms Carey, who was 34 years old.
Dramatic video taken outside the US Capitol building during the incident showed police on foot and in cruisers trying and at first failing to corner Ms Carey in her car. She sped away but was later shot dead a short distance from the complex where lawmakers and support staff had been told to stop work and stay away from windows. The toddler was taken into protective custody.
Family members of Ms Carey said they could not explain what she had been doing in Washington and expressed disbelief at the sequence of events. “That’s impossible. She works, she holds a job,” a sister, Any Carey, a sister who lives in Brooklyn, told reporters when first contacted. “She wouldn’t be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her. …I don’t know what’s happening.”