FBI Seeks Answers Following DC Car Rampage

Originally published on October 4, 2013 5:43 pm

FBI agents in Stamford, Conn., are searching for clues about why an unarmed 34-year-old mother who lived there went on a driving rampage in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

The incident resulted in her shooting death by Capitol police.

Miriam Carey was traveling with her 1-year-old daughter when she tried to breach a barrier at the White House, and then veered her car down Constitution Avenue, driving up to 80-miles-per-hour, toward the Capitol buildings. She eventually crashed into a barrier.

The incident caused a temporary lock-down at the Capitol, where lawmakers were debating measures to end the government shutdown.

Carey’s mother told ABC News last night that her daughter had been suffering from postpartum depression.

Car chase caught on video


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Well, today, FBI agents are trying to figure out why a 34-year-old mother and dental hygienist from Stamford, Connecticut, went on that driving rampage in Washington, D.C. with her one-year-old in the car, causing a lockdown on Capitol Hill before she was shot to death by Capitol police.

Miriam Carey's mother has said she was suffering from post-partum depression. Let's bring in Craig LeMoult, who's following the story for reporter for WSHU in Fairfield, Connecticut. And Craig, start with how this is reverberating there in Fairfield at Miriam Carey's condo building.

CRAIG LEMOULT, BYLINE: Yeah. She lived in Stamford, Connecticut. At about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, investigators descended on the condo complex where she lived. I talked to one neighbor who said he heard a helicopter, then he saw police. And then when he saw a bomb squad truck and a mobile robot, he knew something was really going on.

They wound up evacuating about 50 apartments. And then more than six hours later, people were still waiting outside. And Stamford police said it was because they still didn't have a warrant to go into the apartment. They didn't say what was taking so long with that, and Red Cross came in, and they had to find places for the neighbors to sleep last night.

The city says that early this morning, investigators completed the on-scene investigation, and the residents were able to return to their homes.

YOUNG: Well, I mean - and what else are they saying about the shock of this? This isn't - these are apartments in an apartment building, we understand, people who don't - may not have known her, because in apartment buildings, sometimes you don't socialize. But what were they saying about this?

LEMOULT: Yeah, the people I talked to didn't know her personally at all. You know, one person was talking about how there are more renters in the building than there used to be, and people just didn't know each other as well as they used to. I mean, I think there was the usual kind of shock and surprise of people saying, wow, I can't believe that someone next door to me was responsible for something like this.

But, frankly, the people I talked to last night were - seemed most concerned about getting back into their apartment buildings. They had pets and things in there they needed to feed, and they didn't want to necessarily spend the night in a high school gym or at a hotel.

YOUNG: Well, Miriam Carey's mother told ABC News that Miriam had been suffering from post-partum depression, that she might have deluded notions about the White House and the president. But others are saying they didn't see anything. Tell us more about what's being said.

LEMOULT: Yeah, well, what we know about her is that she was 34 years old. Police said there appeared to be no direct link to terrorism at all, and there was no indication she was even actually armed at all yesterday. Connecticut records show that she had been a licensed dental hygienist since 2009. But, interestingly, that license actually expired on Thursday.

She worked for a periodontist in Hamden, Connecticut for a couple of years before she was fired a year ago. The periodontist wouldn't go into the reason why she was fired, but he said she was a good employee. He said something about how she'd actually fallen down a staircase and suffered a head injury and learned - and that she'd learned that she was pregnant during the time that she was hospitalized, and it was actually a few weeks after she returned to work that she was fired.

YOUNG: Well, any one of those things could provoke something, but, of course, we don't know. Craig LeMoult of WSHU in Fairfield, Connecticut, thanks so much for letting us know a little bit more about Miriam Carey. Her one-year-old daughter, by the way, after the incident in Washington, was taken into protective custody. Craig, thanks so much.

LEMOULT: You're welcome.

YOUNG: Back in a minute, HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.