A woman with a small child in her car who tried to break through a barricade outside the White House, rammed a police car near the U.S. Capitol, and was ultimately shot to death by Capitol police has been identified as Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Connecticut. Carey is from Brooklyn, where she grew up in the Louis Pink Houses, a New York City Housing Authority building in East New York. She’s the second Brooklyn native in two weeks to be involved in a violent incident in D.C.; the first was Aaron Alexis, the suspect in the September 16 shootings at the Washington Navy Yards.
In a weird coincidence, the Army was also holding a mock mass casualty training for first responders in D.C. yesterday. It’s not yet clear whether the training was suspended during the shooting.
According to a report by the Washington Post, Carey attended Hostos Community College in the Bronx, graduating with an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, as well as Brooklyn College, graduating in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in health and nutrition science. She moved to Connecticut and had a baby girl named Erica. “She got out, she got a good job,” one childhood friend told Newsday.
Carey grew up with her mother and four sisters at the Pink Houses; one of them expressed shock when reached by the Post. “She wouldn’t be in D.C.,” Amy Carey told the paper. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her. . . . I don’t know what’s happening.”
Capitol police chased Carey from the White House and around Capitol Hill, with her black Infiniti at times reaching speeds of more than 70 miles an hour. It’s unclear at what point police realized she had a toddler in the car with her. After Carey stepped out of her vehicle and was shot by police, a little girl with short box braids was seen being carried away from the scene, unharmed. Carey was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead; according to the New York Times, identifying her was difficult “due to the extent of her injuries.” It’s not yet known if the little girl in the car was Carey’s daughter. Carey appears to have been unarmed.
Authorities said Carey had a history of unspecified mental illness; her mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News that her daughter had suffered from post-partum depression after having her baby last August, and had to be hospitalized a few months later. She believed her daughter was taking the baby to a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning.
The incident happened on the last day of an Army training exercise to prepare for a “mass casualty” situation in D.C. More information and photo on the following page.[
Also in D.C. yesterday, more than 38 state, local and municipal agencies took part in an exercise to test emergency preparedness during “a crisis impacting the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland,” according to an Army report.
The first responders performed “mock mass casualty rescues, defense support to civil agency technical rescues and law enforcement tactical responses,” the article says. The goal was to ensure that government agencies “are prepared to coordinate action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the National Capital Region.” We contacted the Army to find out where the drill was in relation to Capitol Hill, and if the training was suspended during the incident. We’ll update if and when we hear back.
At least part of the training looks to have taken place on an air base. A photo from the Army report shows first responders attending to a mock victim:
Late yesterday, someone from Phoenix, Arizona, identifying themselves as a friend of Carey’s, set up a Facebook page in her memory. It’s not clear whether the Phoenix author actually knew her; the page doesn’t offer any information that’s not publicly available in news reports. Nontheless, the page has quickly become a site for alternate or conspiracy theories about what occurred yesterday, with many people claiming that Carey’s car was too undamaged for her to have rammed a police cruiser.
“This story has so many holes in it,” wrote one commenter. “They said she rammed a police cruiser, but she didn’t have any damage done to her car and they said that she had an exchange of gun fire with secret service, but they also said she was unarmed. Something isn’t right with this story.”
In fact, photos from the scene do show damage to the front driver’s side of Carey’s vehicle. But the commenters seem to be grappling with another issue: how a woman at home with her daughter just two days ago could find herself 200 miles away, in another reality altogether.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 4, 2013