Nightly News   |  October 04, 2013

Capitol shooting: a timeline of events

Diagnosed with depression and psychosis, Miriam Carey had recently stopped taking her medications, according to investigators. They say travel records show she drove directly from Connecticut to Washington, D.C., on Thursday, when the chaos began.  NBC’s Pete Williams

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to yesterday's wild scene and the fatal shooting that ended it on capitol hill in washington . a young woman with her child in the car leading police on a high speed chase and the decision by police and that high security environment to shoot to kill . our justice correspondent pete williams following all of it from our d.c. newsroom tonight. pete , good evening.

>> reporter: good evening. investigators say miriam kerry went downhill after having her baby, suffered post partum depression , delusions and she was hospitalized. she believed the federal government had her under surveillance and president obama was communicating with her. after searching her condo in connecticut and talking with relatives, investigators say she had been diagnosed with depression and psychosis but had recently stopped taking her medications. they say travel records show she drove directly from there to washington yesterday. the chaotic events began at a security checkpoint on the perimeter of the white house grounds. her car turned into this driveway, hit temporary fencing and started backing up, striking a sec rhett service officer causing minor injuries. she speeds up pennsylvania toward the capitol going 80 at one point. police thought it was over when she got just below the u.s. capitol when they managed to t get her stopped. that's when it escalated. as they approached the car she jammed it into reverse striking a patrol car and took the off again. this time secret service offers and police officers fired nine shots. she kept driving, looping around traffic circles and up past the capitol building with bullet holes visible in the car. it ended on the other side of the white house . she was coming up constitution avenue near the senate office building when police again opened fire. they say she saw the barriers had been raised so she shifted into reverse to try to turn around. police say in the course of that, she backed into this police guard booth. 17 shots at that location. only after did they discover her 1-year-old child was in the car, unharmed. chuck wetaskiwxler says police are trained not to shoot at cars but around the capitol there is a worry of car bombs .

>> you have improvised devices, terrorism. policing in washington , d.c. is more complicated. they have to protect u.s. capitol and the white house . they are concerned about terrorism.

>> reporter: one thing people ask is why not shoot the tires?

>> these things happen quickly. you had a situation where one police officer was already hurt. they tried to get into the white house . now they are trying to get into the u.s. capitol . these things happened almost instantaneously.

>> reporter: police will conduct an investigation to see if the use of deadly force was justified. a standard practice in an incident like this. members of her family were here today to claim her body and take her daughter home. brian?