Yesterday afternoon, Miriam Carey was shot to death by police at the U.S. Capitol after leading a high-speed car chase through the heart of Washington D.C. In the hours since, details about Carey's life have emerged, though anything resembling a motive or reason for the incident is still absent.
Carey was a 34-year-old dental hygienist who lived in Stamford, Connecticut. The second youngest of five sisters, including one who is an NYPD officer, Carey spent much of her life in Brooklyn before moving to Stamford several years ago, reportedly over a dispute with her landlord.
Police said Carey had a “mental illness,” which her mother told ABC News was post-partum depression that began in the months after she had a baby last August. A 1-year-old girl was with Carey during the car chase and shooting, though it's unclear if the girl was Carey's daughter.
But other than the depression, for which Carey was hospitalized, according to her mother, there were no outward signs of instability.
Idella Carey said her daughter had “no history of violence” and co-workers and friends described her as "happy" and a “non-political person.”
"I would never in a million years believe that she would do something like this," Carey's boss, Dr. Steven Oken, told ABC News. "It's the furthest thing from anything I would think she would do, especially with her child in the car. I am floored that it would be her."
And Carey's sister expressed disbelief when informed of the shooting by a reporter. “That's impossible,” Amy Carey told a Washington Post reporter yesterday afternoon. “She works, she holds a job. She wouldn't be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her...I don't know what's happening. I can't answer anymore.”
Other friends described her as “a catch" and as someone who had "a wonderful life."
Another former employer, Dr. Barry J. Weiss, told the New York Times Carey had trouble with some of her co-workers. “When we confronted her about certain situations within the office, she had a temper,” Dr. Weiss said.
But a friend told the Washington Post that Carey's temper was nothing unusual. Angela Windley, who went to college with Carey, described her as “very focused” and “always very professional,” and said she never saw her angry “beyond, you know, normal girl stuff like, “What's up with her?' about another girl, but nothing crazy. Some sharp words, that would be it.”
UPDATE: And there's this, from NBC News:
The woman who led authorities on a chase from the White House to the Capitol before she was killed by police may have thought that President Barack Obama was stalking her, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
[Image via AP]