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Official: Woman killed in Washington, D.C. chase was delusional

  • This 2011 photo provided by Dr. Barry Weiss, from the website of Advanced Periodontics in Hamden, Conn., shows former employee Miriam Carey. The 34-year-old Carey was shot to death by police after a car chase that began when she tried to breach a barrier at the White House. (AP Photo/Advanced Periodontics)

WASHINGTON — A Connecticut woman shot to death by police 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 Friday.

The official had been briefed on the investigation but spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

A harrowing car chase unfolded Thursday after the driver rammed the barricades, briefly shuttering the chambers where federal lawmakers were debating how to end a government shutdown and stirring fresh panic in a city where a gunman two weeks ago killed 12 people.

Chase, Shooting At U.S. Capitol

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The driver, 34-year-old Miriam Carey, of Stamford, Conn., is believed to have traveled 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 hospitalized."

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