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Deadly Capitol Mayhem: Why Did Miriam Carey Travel From Connecticut to D.C.?

Wild speculation abounds regarding today’s bizarre and fatal encounter today between various federal police agencies and a 34-year-old dental hygienist from Stamford, Connecticut, who beginning at 2:14 p.m. was first involved in some kind of confrontation at one of the White House gates.

With her infant daughter inside her black Infiniti luxury sports coupe, the driver, an attractive, pleasant-looking (based on her Facebook photos published by various news outlets, and a photo found on her employer’s website) African-American woman by the name of Miriam Carey, ran down a U.S. Secret Service officer with the car as she abruptly turned the car around after pulling up to the gate, then crashed away from the scene, jeopardizing the lives of numerous responding police and others as she raced at high speed toward Capitol Hill.

Even though police opened fire on her when she again crashed away from being momentarily boxed in by police as she neared The Hill, Carey eventually made it as far as the Hart senate office building adjacent to the Capitol, where her vehicle finally came to a stop by some concrete barricades after police opened fire a second time, killing her.

Fortunately, it is being reported by major news outlets that Carey’s daughter, estimated at between one and two years old, is okay.  Conflicting reports are pouring in as to whether the child was injured in the melee or not, however all reports concur in saying that she is now safe and in protective custody, having been extricated from the car and carried away by police.

Much of the insane, violent chase was captured on video by a nearby TV crew, and was broadcast across news networks soon after the whole incident came to a close.

Like a scene out of a Hollywood action movie, part of the drama unfolded on camera–replete with police in vehicles and on foot closing in around the suspect’s briefly motionless car near the Capitol, seeming to trap her.  Carey then suddenly crashed into a police cruiser in reverse, then gunned her coupe toward, then away from, the numerous officers who had drawn and pointed their weapons at her as they surrounded her car on foot, ordering her to desist and surrender.  She defied them and almost ran officers over as she sped off, followed immediately by an audible barrage of police gunfire.

Whether any of those officers who had surrounded Carey’s car were able to see that there was a small child inside the car is, at this point, still an open question.  If so, controversy is heaped on to what would otherwise be considered a clear-cut, justified use of deadly force situation.

A car can itself be considered a deadly weapon, and when an officer’s or anyone else’s life is threatened by someone behind the wheel, stopping the driver with gunfire, if realistically possible, is warranted.  However, if attempting to do so causes a greater risk to the lives of innocents, reasonable officers should make that much more attempt to otherwise simply evade the threat, while minimizing the likelihood of grave harm to bystanders, hostages, and so on.
Secret Service and Capitol Police chiefs and spokespeople are being fairly tight-lipped about details of the incident, despite a couple of very short press conferences having been held this afternoon and evening.  They set a somewhat understandably defensive tone, saying that their officers acted properly, given the unknown exact motives of the suspect, and the unknown extent of the threat posed by the rapidly unfolding situation at a time of heightened political tension in D.C. over the government shutdown deadlock, and lingering conditions related to terrorism threats and recent mass-shootings.So in the absence of reliable and specific information, the speculations spin wildly on internet forums, while more serious theories emerge from bits and pieces of information trickling in from Carey’s home state.What was Miriam Carey doing in Washington, D.C., anyway?  Why did she come all the hundreds of miles from Connecticut?

Ordinary tourists don’t normally drive their cars up to the heavily fortified and staffed White House security gates, with small children inside, and then suddenly get into confrontations with the Secret Service, crashing over barriers and careening away as they bounce an officer off their car’s hood and onto the pavement, as witnesses are reported (by the Washington Post) to have described the scene.  Witnesses are also reported to have described the guard who challenged Carey to be highly agitated and loud in his exhortations and warnings as she failed to stop or heed him:  “The Secret Service guy was having a cow,” a man named B. J. Campbell said, “yelling at her and banging on the car.”

The New York Daily News obtained a statement from Carey’s former employer, Dentist Brian Evans, who said that Carey “fell down some stairs and had a pretty significant head injury” during the two years she worked for him.  Otherwise, Evans said, despite some media reports of Carey having mental issues, when he let her go from her job last year, “it was nothing related to any mental problems that we were in tune to.”  Evans said that “there was never insubordination per se or anything like that, but she tended to go against the grain a bit.”  It was revealed by Evans that Carey discovered she was pregnant while hospitalized after her head injury, and that she “seemed happy.”Some of the theories being batted around on internet forums are outlandishly eerie.  People have remarked that today, Oct. 3rd 2013, is the twentieth anniversary of the infamous “Blackhawk Down” military misadventure involving U.S. forces in Mogadishu, Somalia, and that the Miriam Carey is rumored to be of Somali descent.  Simultaneously, it has been noted that not too long ago Carey lived in Brooklyn, New York, the same place Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was born and raised–and that they were both 34 years old.Other sketchy theories have to do with the confrontation at the White House gate, and whether–in the utter lack of any other compelling information to go on–the incident stemmed from some kind of domestic/paternity issue concerning Carey and a Secret Service officer, or some distress and derangement on the part of Carey regarding federal benefits, the government shutdown, and/or the botched, pricey, partial-birth mis-launch of Obamacare, and so on.

Never ones to miss an opportunity to grotesquely pounce on a crisis, at least two democrats in the House of Representatives (one of them the notorious Sheila Jackson Lee) have sought to exploit the incident in debate on the House floor, saying that it was directly the result of the opposing party’s stand regarding funding of Obamacare, and the ongoing deadlock over government operations.

I expect that we’ll know more about Miriam Carey in short order, and why she drove herself to her untimely end in the heart of our Capitol.  Until we do, things remain very tense here, for reasons beyond her mysterious, deadly road rage.

Donald Joy

Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.

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