Federal officers who opened fire on a car last fall that allegedly had rammed a barrier at the White House and then was chased to the U.S. Capitol struck the driver five times, in the head, back and arm, according to an autopsy report.
Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Conn., was killed Oct. 3 after leading police on a chase through the heart of Washington in a black Infiniti. Carey’s 1-year-old daughter was also in the car but was not injured.
Police fired on the vehicle twice — at a traffic circle near the Capitol and on the Capitol grounds near a guard shack. The chase ended when Carey put the Infiniti in reverse and rammed a police vehicle, prompting U.S. Capitol Police officers and Secret Service agents to shoot at the car, authorities said.
The autopsy report was made public by an attorney for Carey’s family, Eric Sanders, who posted it on his New York firm’s Internet page. Autopsy reports are not considered public documents in the District, though the medical examiner provides them to people designated next of kin.
The report concludes that Carey died of multiple gunshot wounds: one to the left side of her head, two to the upper left back, one to the upper right back and one to the left arm.
Sanders said the findings prove that the shooting was unjustified and that Carey was driving away from officers when they opened fire. In an application filed in U.S. District Court for a warrant to search the Infiniti, authorities said the car was going in reverse toward the officers when they fired.
The family has filed a notice of intent to sue, a legal step required before bringing suit, and contends that the federal officers violated regulations and accepted standards by firing on a moving vehicle, an action that many police agencies restrict or forbid.
Representatives of the Secret Service and Capitol Police — whose officers remain on leave — declined to comment, saying the investigation continues. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office also declined to comment.