Washington - A woman shot to death by police outside the
Capitol building after she tried to drive through barricades outside the White
House held the delusional belief that the president was communicating with her,
a federal law enforcement official said.
The official had been briefed on the investigation but spoke
on Friday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorised to
speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.
A harrowing car chase unfolded on Thursday after the driver
rammed the barricades, briefly shuttering the chambers where federal lawmakers
were debating how to end a government shutdown and stirred fresh panic in a
city where a gunman two weeks ago killed 12 people.
The driver, 34-year-old Miriam Carey, of Stamford,
Connecticut, is believed to have travelled directly to Washington immediately
before the car chase, the official said. A 1-year-old girl was in the car,
though she avoided serious injury and was taken into protective custody.
Investigators have been interviewing Carey's family about
her mental condition, which had been deteriorating over the past 10 months, the
official said. The woman had made delusional "expressions about the
president in the past" and "believed there was some communications to
her," and concerns about her mental health were reported in the last year
to Stamford police, the official said.
Carey's mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News on Thursday
night that her daughter began suffering from postpartum depression after giving
birth to her daughter, Erica, in August 2012.
"A few months later, she got sick," she said.
"She was depressed. ... She was hospitalised."
Idella Carey said her daughter had "no history of
violence," and she didn't know why she was in Washington on Thursday. She
said she thought Carey was taking Erica to a doctor's appointment in
Her sisters say they want to know why she had to die. Amy
Carey-Jones said on CNN on Friday there should've been "another way
instead of shooting and killing an individual." Valarie Carey says she
"did not deserve to have her life cut down."
Connecticut records show Carey had been a licensed dental
hygienist since 2009. Records show the license expired on Thursday.
Police said there appeared to be no direct link to terrorism,
and there was no indication the woman was even armed. Capitol Police Chief Kim
Dine, whose officers have been working without pay as a result of the shutdown,
called it an "isolated, singular matter".