Miriam Carey Capitol Shooting: Eyewitnesses Recall Gunfire After Suspect Rammed Gates

The nation was shocked on Thursday when a woman drove her vehicle into the security barriers at Capitol Hill. Eyewitnesses spoke out about the shocking moment. The suspect, who has now been identified as Miriam Carey, reportedly had a history of mental illness.

According to USA Today, Jennifer and Tim Arnold had just stepped out of a cab with their two children when they noticed a black vehicle speeding toward them. "Then we heard five or six gunshots -- bam, bam, bam, bam, bam," Tim Arnold, 48, a computer systems programmer, told the news site. "I said 'Get on the ground.'"

Jennifer tried to get out of the way by jumping over some bushes and laying on the ground with her two daughters. "I could smell the gun smoke," the 44-year-old human resources worker said. "It was like sulfur."

"I was shaking and crying," Arnold daughter Olivia, 13, said. Then she looked at her 8-year-old sister Isabella and said, "She was trying to console me."

The family from Louisville stayed until the ground until they were ordered by authorities to leave the premise. According to USA Today, groups of people walked across the street to get away from the shooting area.

After the tragedy, the family won’t be going on any educational trips anytime soon. "I'm done trying to show the kids important things," Jennifer said. "We're going to Disney World."

The family arrived in Washington on Sunday night, and little Isabella was more than willing to go home after the shooting. She reportedly looked up at her mother and said, “Can we go home now?"

Police are reportedly investigating Carey’s Connecticut home. She had a 18-month-old child with her in the car, and the girl is said to be in “good condition.” Carey is the only known fatality, and two police officers were taken to the hospital for injuries, according to reports.

The shooting comes just days after a U.S. government shutdown, the first to occur in 17 years. The House and the Senate have been gridlocked over President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act and the federal budget. 

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