Miriam Carey, woman killed in Capitol car chase, believed Obama 'electronically monitoring' her; questions raised on police response

Miriam Carey (Facebook)

The woman who attempted to drive her vehicle through a White House gate, then led Capitol police on a high-speed chase before being shot dead, had a history of mental illness and "believed President Obama was electronically monitoring her Connecticut home in order to broadcast her life on television," reports ABC News, citing sources who knew her. Multiple law enforcement sources have identified her Miriam Carey, and sources cited by ABC News say "Carey believed she was the 'prophet of Stamford' and was capable of communicating with Obama."

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that she was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after an encounter with police in Connecticut about a year ago. CBS News reports that she "told police in December that she was a prophet, that President Obama would place the city of Stamford under a 'lockdown' and that he had her and her residence under electronic surveillance."

As questions persist about how a woman with no known history of violence could end up in such a violent confrontation, "questions were also being raised about whether she posed enough of a threat during the fast-moving sequence of events that the police needed to shoot her," reports the New York Times this evening:

Initially, law enforcement officials said Ms. Carey had gotten out of the car when she was shot on Thursday afternoon. Early accounts of such events are often inaccurate, however, and on Friday, new details emerged about the shooting and the woman who was killed.

Most police departments discourage or prohibit opening fire on vehicles. With responsibility for safeguarding two of the county’s most significant landmarks, however, the Capitol Police and the Secret Service are particularly attuned to potential terrorist threats.

Car bombs are one concern, as evidenced by the restrictions on vehicles around the Capitol complex, and officials said that by remaining in the car, Ms. Carey might have heightened fears that the car was an explosive threat. No firearms or explosives were found on her or in her car.

Related reading on Boing Boing:
• "Three things to know about postpartum depression as you read about Miriam Carey and the Capitol car chase"
• "Woman identified as Miriam Carey, 34, killed after incident with car at White House barricade"