Woman killed in Washington car chase was depressed, says her mother
Miriam Carey suffered postpartum depression and had been acting erratically, ABC News told
A federal agent removes evidence yesterday from the apartment complex where Miriam Carey is believed to have lived in Stamford, Connecticut. Photograph: AP Photo/John Minchillo
The woman who engaged police in a dramatic car chase through the streets of Washington, prompting a lockdown of the US Capitol on Thursday before police shot her dead, suffered postpartum depression, her mother told ABC News.
Miriam Carey (34) had her one-year-old baby in the car with her when she tried to drive through a barrier near the White House, then sped away towards Capitol Hill and led police on a high-speed chase that ended when her car got stuck on a median and police shot her.
Ms Carey had suffered from depression, ABC quoted her mother as saying, while a neighbour who lived in her Stamford, Connecticut, apartment building said she had been acting erratically lately.
“She had postpartum depression after having the baby,” said Idella Carey, who identified herself as Miriam Carey’s mother, ABC News reported yesterday. “A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed . . . she was hospitalised.”
Investigators are focusing on whether Ms Carey had mental problems that triggered her actions, a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday. Ms Carey had no previous run-ins with the US Secret Service, which is responsible for White House security, a law enforcement official said.
An officer at Washington’s Metropolitan Police headquarters confirmed that Ms Carey was the driver of the black Infiniti coupe involved in the incident, but declined to provide further details.
Outside a Stamford, Connecticut, building where Ms Carey had lived, most neighbours said they knew little about the woman. But one man, a 59-year-old resident of the building who would only identify himself as “OV”, said she had been behaving unusually recently.
“She seemed nice, but was very erratic lately, was acting very strange,” he said. “She seemed like she was okay one minute, and then wasn’t making any sense the next.
“She would often speed her car in and out of the parking lot here, and that was something that really concerned me,” he said.
The incident, which came as Congress was debating how to resolve the current shutdown of the federal government, was initially reported as a shooting. But law enforcement sources said the woman did not shoot a gun and that there is no indication she had one.
Law enforcement investigators had largely completed their search of Ms Carey’s Stamford apartment on Friday and reopened the building, which had been evacuated a day earlier, to residents.
Stamford mayor Michael Pavia said the investigation had been handed over to the FBI.
Two officers were hurt in Thursday’s incident. One was a secret service officer who was struck by the suspect’s car outside the White House. The other was a Capitol police officer whose car struck a barricade during the mid-afternoon chase. – (Reuters)