Woman killed in US chase 'was delusional'

2013-10-05 09:22
Capitol Hill police cars are parked behind a car following a shooting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

Capitol Hill police cars are parked behind a car following a shooting on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

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Washington - A woman shot to death by police outside the Capitol building after she tried to drive through barricades outside the White House held the delusional belief that the president was communicating with her, a federal law enforcement official said.

The official had been briefed on the investigation but spoke on Friday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorised to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

A harrowing car chase unfolded on Thursday after the driver rammed the barricades, briefly shuttering the chambers where federal lawmakers were debating how to end a government shutdown and stirred fresh panic in a city where a gunman two weeks ago killed 12 people.

The driver, 34-year-old Miriam Carey, of Stamford, Connecticut, is believed to have travelled directly to Washington immediately before the car chase, the official said. A 1-year-old girl was in the car, though she avoided serious injury and was taken into protective custody.

Mental condition

Investigators have been interviewing Carey's family about her mental condition, which had been deteriorating over the past 10 months, the official said. The woman had made delusional "expressions about the president in the past" and "believed there was some communications to her," and concerns about her mental health were reported in the last year to Stamford police, the official said.

Carey's mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News on Thursday night that her daughter began suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to her daughter, Erica, in August 2012.

"A few months later, she got sick," she said. "She was depressed. ... She was hospitalised."

Idella Carey said her daughter had "no history of violence," and she didn't know why she was in Washington on Thursday. She said she thought Carey was taking Erica to a doctor's appointment in Connecticut.

Her sisters say they want to know why she had to die. Amy Carey-Jones said on CNN on Friday there should've been "another way instead of shooting and killing an individual." Valarie Carey says she "did not deserve to have her life cut down."

Connecticut records show Carey had been a licensed dental hygienist since 2009. Records show the license expired on Thursday.

Police said there appeared to be no direct link to terrorism, and there was no indication the woman was even armed. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, whose officers have been working without pay as a result of the shutdown, called it an "isolated, singular matter".


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