New Details Emerge On Woman Shot After Capitol Hill Car Chase

The latest on Miriam Carey, the Connecticut dental hygienist who was shot and killed by Capitol police Thursday after she drove into barriers near the White House and led police on a chase through Washington, D.C., streets.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We're learning more about the woman who led police on a chase through the District of Columbia yesterday. The car chase ended with a shootout that left the woman, Miriam Carey, dead. Carey's family positively identified her body this afternoon. And to learn more about her background, we're joined by NPR's Laura Sullivan. And, Laura, first, what have you learned this point about Carey's mental state?

LAURA SULLIVAN, BYLINE: Well, law enforcement officials say Miriam Carey's mental state was unstable. I mean, she was taking medication for schizophrenia, had been suffering from depression after the birth of her daughter. And officials say they believe she was having delusions about President Obama and believed that she was under some kind of surveillance. Both her mother and her boyfriend had contacted police about her previously and essentially saying that they were concerned about her mental state and what was happening with her. They're currently working with authorities, and police are examining some of the writings that they found in her apartment.

CORNISH: So, Laura, is there any evidence prior to yesterday's incident that Carey was armed or part of some larger plot?

SULLIVAN: No, not so far. Police did not find any weapons in her apartment, and she was not armed when law enforcement officials say she took her car and tried to ram it into the White House barricades with her daughter in the backseat.

CORNISH: Now, tell us a little bit more about her background. What more have you learned about her?

SULLIVAN: We know at this point that she was a 34-year-old dental hygienist. She had enrolled in Brooklyn College in 2007. Records show she got her dental hygienist license four years ago. It expired yesterday. She worked for a while as a dental hygienist in Hamden, Connecticut. The AP is reporting that she was fired from that job about a year ago and may have suffered from some kind of a head injury. She also ran a company out of her condo in Stamford, Connecticut. It wasn't state licensed, but the website said she was trying to provide some sort of temporary replacements for dental hygienist. Court records show she was sued by her condo association in December. That suit was dropped a few months ago.

CORNISH: Now, what are you hearing from Miriam Carey's friends and family?

SULLIVAN: Well, I was able to speak with Carey's neighbor, a woman named Erin Jackson, who knows her pretty well. And she said she was completely shocked by what happened and when she saw this unfolding on television. She described Carey as a friendly, doting mother, who was just incredibly protective of her daughter. She saw no indication that anything like this would be possible. She said she didn't seem delusional. Especially in recent days, she seemed almost upbeat to her. She said that the most shocking thing that, for her, was just knowing that her daughter was in the car with her.

CORNISH: That's NPR's Laura Sullivan. Laura, thank you.

SULLIVAN: Thank you so much.

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