Car in chase from White House was driving backward when officers opened fire

October 8, 2013

The 34-year-old Connecticut woman who led police on a chase last week from the White House to the U.S. Capitol was driving in reverse when officers opened fire on her car, killing her near a guard house, according to a search warrant affidavit made public Tuesday.

The documents provide additional details about officers’ final, deadly encounter with Miriam Carey near the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday. The account says Carey, who police said tried to ram a barricade at the White House, was shot near the Capitol before her 2010 Nissan Infiniti crashed with her 1 -year-old daughter inside. The girl was not harmed.

The documents do not describe how federal police officers who fired might have been in danger. Nor do they elaborate on what authorities suspect prompted her actions — that the dental hygienist from Stamford had struggled with mental illness and believed she was secretly being monitored by President Obama.

Authorities do describe in the search warrant affidavit filed in U.S. District Court some of the items found inside a gray 11-by-14-inch lockbox that was in the car: discharge documents from Stamford Hospital, an uncashed check for $1,799.31, a passport in Carey’s name, a black Toyota key, a silver key, a Social Security card and a plastic zip-lock bag with foreign currency, both paper and coins.

The documents show that she also had driver’s licenses in her name from New York, which expired in April, and from Connecticut, valid through August 2015, along with assorted mail.


This 2011 photo provided by Dr. Barry Weiss, from the Web site of Advanced Periodontics in Hamden, Conn., shows former employee Miriam Carey. (AP)

Authorities, citing the ongoing investigation led by D.C. police, declined to comment. Officials would not describe the significance, if any, of the documents found in the car. Carey’s family has said they had no idea she was headed to the District. In the application for a search warrant, authorities said they were looking for bullets or bullet fragments, along with maps and photographs pertaining to the White House.

The affidavit also includes additional details about the chase and gunfire that erupted from police along the way. It confirms that the incident began outside the White House, at 15th and E streets NW, when police said Carey refused to stop at a checkpoint. The court documents say she made a U-turn and struck a Secret Service agent who tried to block her car using a bicycle rack.

Carey then led police on a chase along Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. The documents state that she entered Garfield Circle traveling in the wrong direction and came to a stop, where she was pinned by officers from the U.S. Capitol Police and Secret Service. Officers are seen on video firing seven shots after the car backed into a police cruiser and sped away, raising questions about officers shooting at moving vehicles, which is generally forbidden by municipal departments.

Carey then drove north on First Street NW, east on Constitution Avenue to Second Street NE and then onto Maryland Avenue, where the court documents say she stopped and then went in reverse and was shot. Police did not say how many shots were fired.

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