A woman identified as Miriam Carey, 34, of Connecticut, was shot and killed on Thursday when she led police on a dramatic car chase from a gate near the White House to the U.S. Capitol.
The dental hygienist who was gunned down by police yesterday after ramming a White House barrier with her young daughter in the car thought President Obama was electronically monitoring her Connecticut home in order to broadcast her life on television, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
According to sources Carey believed she was the “prophet of Stamford” and was capable of communicating with Obama.
Investigators have found indications Miriam Carey suffered delusions due to a history of mental illness, NBC Connecticut reports.
Carey’s mother claims the woman has suffered from post-partum depression since giving birth to her daughter Erica last year.
These revelations are the first clues as to what led the woman to drive her Infiniti luxury sedan 270 miles from her home in suburban Stamford to Washington, D.C. — where her rampage put the nation’s capital on lockdown Thursday.
Carey’s 18-month-old daughter Erica — who was in the back seat — was not injured, despite the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol police firing up to 15 shots into her car. A police officer who was struck by the woman’s vehicle was being treated for his injuries.
Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the woman was pronounced dead shortly after the rolling confrontation that erupted when she apparently attempted to drive into a restricted area near the White House.
Rebuffed by barricades and officers, she raced away from that area toward the Capitol, where she was shot by police. Apparently her car had collided with a police car, and authorities said she was cut down by gunfire when she got out of her car.
The shots startled members of Congress and sent police officers rushing to lock down areas where politicians were meeting.
There was no immediate confirmation on whether the woman was armed, but the FBI, the Washington police department and the Secret Service all had a role in the situation.
Dr. Barry Weiss, a dentist, told NBC Connecticut, that Carey was working for him in January 2012 when she suffered a fall and missed two to three weeks. He said that she appeared increasingly stressed after an unplanned pregnancy. Relatives have said that she may have suffered postpartum depression.
Weiss said that he fired her in August 2012 after patients complained that she was too rough.
Capitol Hill Police chief Kim Dine confirmed, "There is no nexus to terrorism."
Authorities tried to tamp down concerns it was a terror attack, or another shooting rampage like what happened only weeks earlier in the nearby Washington Navy yard, where 12 people were shot and killed by a gunman.
The Secret Service agent who was hurt apparently was injured when the vehicle he was using to chase the suspect was upended by one of the Capitol's electronic barricades as it rose out of the ground, reported ABC.
A visitor from Malta, Rudolfo Giancarlo, told WND there was a "black sports car" speeding.
"We thought it was moving out of the way [of police]."
And a government worker said he had been in the vicinity of the Navy Yard shootings several weeks ago.
"I thought it's the Navy Yard all over again."
Patty Bills, a worker at Faith and Action, a Christian outreach group, told AP officers were firing at the driver.
Several senators told ABC News they heard gunfire on Capitol Hill.
"We heard pops that sounded like shots," said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.
"We heard shots. They told us to get behind a car," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
National Review's Robert Costa was on the scene and said officers sounded frantic in reporting the situation, with "lots of scratchy noise and screams."
NBC reported those in the area had been warned, to "close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows."
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tweeted: Shots fired outside the Capitol. We are in temporary lock down.
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert reported hearing three or four booms from his office and seeing 40-50 people hit the ground.
Only hours earlier, late Wednesday, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., was reported to be the victim of a "minor incident" outside Capitol complex.
"A random individual, unknown to the congressman, began screaming at him and grabbed his arm," a spokesman in Duffy's office said.
The congressman was unhurt.
His office said, "He reported the incident in compliance with House security procedures. Congressman Duffy has requested no further action be taken and there will be no further comment on the matter at this time."
A White House official said the president was briefed on the reports of gunfire.
On September 16, a deadly shooting occurred at the Navy Yard, just blocks south of the U.S. Capitol complex, which contributed to a partial lockdown of the Capitol at that time.
A shooting on July 24, 1998, left two Capitol Police officers dead.
Panic on Capitol Hill:
Capitol Hill police chief gives news conference: