The sisters of Miriam Carey -- the Capitol shooting suspect killed on Thursday after she tried to ram her vehicle into a White House security gate and led police on a chase down Pennsylvania Avenue -- are coming to the defense of their sibling, who they say was deeply affected by mental illness. Speaking to ABC News, the sisters described Miriam Carey, 34, as a nonviolent woman.
"She had no political agenda. She didn't hate her country. She wasn't a terrorist," Amy Carey Jones, a registered nurse, told ABC News. "She was on medication."
Miriam's sister Valarie Carey believes that her sister's mental illness likely led to her unsettling behavior. And both sisters feel that authorities should have better analyzed the situation to gauge the appropriate amount of force needed.
"Officers had enough time to assess the occupants of the vehicle," said Valarie Carey, a retired NYPD sergeant. "They actually not only put someone at harm's way, but they took someone's life." Speaking to the Daily News, she added that there were other ways for officers to regain control of the situation. "Deadly force was not necessary. They could have rammed the car or disabled the car."
During a press conference on Friday night, the sisters said they both found out that Miriam was involved in the deadly police chase when they received phone calls informing them to turn on their televisions. They remain unsure why their sister -- who lives in Connecticut -- was in D.C.., saying that they "don't know if her depression contributed to her going and taking that ride, or losing her mind at that time." As IBT reported earlier, Miriam Carey's mother confirmed to ABC News Thursday night that Miriam suffered from postpartum depression. Police had twice been called to Miriam Carey's home in 2012 by her boyfriend saying she was acting irrational and erratic.
Carey's 1-year-old daughter -- who was in the car with her when she was shot and killed -- has been taken by the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, reports CNN. She has been temporarily placed with a foster family.