WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03: A U.S. Secret Service officer uses binoculars to watch the area surrounding 1600 Pensylvania Ave from the rooftop of the White House October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. The executive mansion was put on lockdown after a report of shots fired at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Investigators were attempting to determine why an unarmed Stamford,
Conn., woman ran her car into a security fence outside the White House
on Thursday before leading authorities on a short chase that ended with
her death in a hail of police gunfire near the U.S. Capitol.
Miriam Carey, 34, was licensed as a dental hygienist in
Connecticut and had recently been listed as an employee of a dentist
Rep. Mike McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of House
Homeland Security Committee, who was briefed by FBI and Secret Service
on the incident, said an 18-month-old girl was in car with Carey during
the fatal confrontation. The child, who law enforcement sources said was
believed to be Cary's daughter, was not injured in the shooting and has
been placed with child protective services, he said.
McCaul said he was told by the briefers that the woman was unarmed and that investigators "think she had mental health issues."
Following the shooting, police and FBI agents descended on a Stamford
condominium complex where Carey lived, according to the property
manager. Law enforcement sources confirmed that she resided there, as
did a lawyer who represented her in a previous dispute over a lien for
unpaid common charges. Those charges had been brought current, the
Late Thursday, teams in hazardous materials suits
appeared to be preparing to enter the building. Several residents of
buildings beside the one where Carey lived told NBC News that their
buildings had been evacuated. Some had been forced to leave pets behind.
Some residents said the complex has one- to three-bedroom apartments renting from $1,100 to $1,500 per month.
Carey was shot and killed by law enforcement officers Thursday
afternoon following the chase that began near the White House and ended
near the Capitol.
Police officials said the black Infiniti sedan
she was driving struck a temporary security fencing at the White House
security perimeter at 15th Street and E, at approximately 2:12 p.m.,
then fled east on Pennsylvania Avenue, striking a uniformed Secret
Service officer as she sped off, with police in pursuit.
Police caught up to her at Garfield Circle near the Capitol reflecting
pool, but she sped off again. A 23-year veteran of the Capitol Police
struck a barricade as he pursued her in a squad car and was injured.
12-block chase ended at Constitution Avenue and Second Street with
Carey mortally wounded, police said. The child was removed from the car
by a police officer and taken to the hospital.
Authorities say no
shots were fired at the White House during what was called an attempted
security breach, but Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said at a news
conference that shots were fired at the two subsequent locations,
leading to Carey's death. The Capitol was locked down for a short time
after the incident.
The confrontation occurred on the third day of a contentious disagreement in Congress that led to a government shutdown that began Monday. There was no information suggesting it was linked to the ongoing dispute.
Washington, D.C., Police Chief Kim Dine also said it did not appear
to be "related to terrorism ... (or) anything other than an isolated
MedStar Washington Hospital Center said that both
injured officers were transported there after the incident and that the
Capitol Police officer was treated and released. The Associated Press reported earlier that the Secret Service officer was in good condition.
Prokupecz, Matthew Cole, Robert Windrem, Michael Isikoff, Mike Brunker
and Tom Winter of NBC News also contributed to this report.