Official: Woman killed in D.C. chase was delusional


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WASHINGTON -- A federal law enforcement official says the woman killed by police after trying to drive through barricades outside the White House had believed the president was communicating with her and was delusional.

The official, who had been briefed about the investigation, spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. The official says the woman, 34-year-old Miriam Carey, had been in a deteriorating mental state since December.

The official says investigators have been interviewing the woman's family about her mental condition. The official says investigators believe the woman drove directly to Washington immediately before Thursday's car chase in the nation's capital that prompted the shooting.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A Connecticut woman who was shot to death by police after a car chase that began when she tried to breach a barrier at the White House suffered from postpartum depression, her mother said.

The harrowing chase Thursday unfolded between two national landmarks, briefly shuttered 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.

Two law enforcement officials identified the driver as 34-year-old Miriam Carey, of Stamford, Conn. She was traveling with a 1-year-old girl who avoided serious injury and was taken into protective custody. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

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, last August.

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

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.

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

Dr. Brian Evans, a periodontist in Hamden, Conn., said Carey worked as a hygienist in his office for about two years before she was fired a year ago. He said she had been a good employee, and he would not go into detail about the reasons surrounding her departure.

"Sometimes it just doesn't work out. There was nothing unusual about her leaving our office," he said.

He said Carey had been away from the job for a period after falling down a staircase and suffering a head injury, and she learned she was pregnant during the time she was hospitalized. He said it was a few weeks after she returned to the office that she was fired.

"We're shocked to know this happened and we feel saddened for her family and all those involved," he said.

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."

Still, tourists, congressional staff and even some senators watched anxiously as a caravan of law enforcement vehicles chased a black Infiniti with Connecticut license plates down Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol and as officers with high-powered firearms canvassed the area. The House and Senate both abruptly suspended business, a lawmaker's speech cut off in mid-sentence, as the Capitol Police broadcast a message over its emergency radio system telling people to stay in place and move away from the windows.

The woman's car at one point had been surrounded by police cars and she managed to escape, careening around a traffic circle and past the north side of the Capitol. Video shot by a TV cameraman showed police pointing firearms at her car before she rammed a Secret Service vehicle and continued driving. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said police shot and killed her a block northeast of the historic building.

In Stamford, the FBI served a search warrant in connection with the investigation and police cordoned off a condominium building and the surrounding neighborhood in the shoreline city.

Erin Jackson, 31, lived next door to Carey and said she doted on her young daughter, often taking the girl outside for picnics.

"She was pleasant. She was very happy with her daughter, very proud of her daughter," she said. "I just never would have anticipated this in a million years."

Jackson said Carey was upset earlier this summer when the tires were stolen off her car, but she said her neighbor seemed content. She said she never heard her say anything political.

Carey had been sued by her condominium association for failure to pay fees, court records show. A lawsuit settled in February alleged that she owed the association $1,759 in addition to collection costs, and indicates that she took out a mortgage on her condo in the amount of $237,616.

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