It's hard to believe, but the driver who tried to ram into a gate outside the White House and then led police on a chase that resulted in a lockdown on Capitol Hill was a mother. The driver has been identified as 34-year-old Miriam Carey of Stamford, Connecticut, a dental hygienist and mother of an 18-month-old girl named Erica. Her daughter was in the car with her. Erica was sent to the hospital and has no major injuries. Carey was shot dead.
We still don't know why she did it.
One law enforcement official told NBC that Carey believed President Obama was stalking her. Whether or not that is true, Miriam's story is surely more complicated than that. A team is investigating Carey's home back in Stamford, looking for clues. Her mother, Idella Carey, says her daughter had suffered postpartum depression after the birth of Erica. "She was depressed," Idella says. "She was hospitalized." Idella says Miriam had no history of violence.
Carey's former employer, dentist Dr. Steven Oken, describes her as "headstrong" but "always happy" and not interested in politics through the eight years he knew her. Earlier in 2012 Carey fell down some stairs, resulting in a head injury. When she returned, she was pregnant. Carey was working with dentist Dr. Barry Weiss at that time, and he says she became increasingly stressed through her pregnancy. He fired her in August 2012 after patients complained she was too rough with them.
Friends of Carey describe her as sweet and nurturing, with a strong personality. Her sister Amy was shocked to hear that Miriam was at the center of yesterday's events.
That's impossible. She works, she holds a job. She wouldn't be in DC. She was just in Connecticut two days ago, I spoke to her ... I don't know what's happening. I can't answer any more.
We now have a clearer picture of yesterday afternoon's events.
2:30 p.m. at the White House gates at 15th and E Streets NW, Carey attempted to ram through a temporary security barrier. She struck a Secret Service uniformed division officer and then sped away.
Police and Secret Service pursued Carey up toward Capitol Hill. In Garfield Circle, Carey crashed into a barrier, backed up, and kept driving.
Police pursued Carey to 2nd Street and Maryland Avenue NE, where she crashed into another barrier. It was here that Carey got out of her car and was shot. She was not armed.
But without a clear motive, this strange incident remains a mystery -- a sad one. A baby girl has become an orphan. But does postpartum depression really tell the whole story?
Why do you think Miriam tried to crash into a barrier outside the White House?
Image via Dr. Barry Weiss