MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A Maryland woman was fatally shot by police in Florida after she struck and injured an officer, police said.
According to the Miami Beach Police Department, 22-year-old Cariann Denise Hithon, of Bowie, Maryland, was driving a black BMW vehicle Sunday evening when it crashed into another vehicle on 12th Street and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach.
Investigators said Hithon fled the scene afterward and hit another vehicle on Lincoln Drive. She then attempted to flee from that scene and struck a uniformed police officer, causing the officer to be thrown in the air, according to officials.
Police said another officer at the scene shot Hithon. She drove on 12th Street after the shooting and came to a complete stop after hitting another parked vehicle.
Video of the incident can be seen in the media player above.
Video posted on Instagram by a music producer who was at the scene Sunday night shows the damaged BMW stopped on 12th Street at Ocean Drive. You can hear several people commenting on how Hithon looked behind the wheel and may have looked drunk. Then you see the male passenger get out of the car as uniformed officers approached. Suddenly, the BMW takes off at a high rate of speed.
"The officer after being ran [into], he was on the ground and everyone was checking on him asking if he was okay,” said witness Michael Davis. “He said he was okay, but it didn't appear that way. He wasn't able to stand up or anything like that, but he was responsive."
Hithon was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries. The injured officer was also taken to the hospital and has been released.
The passenger in Hithon’s car was detained by police for questioning, according to officials.
Hithon turned 22 years old last Thursday and was in Florida celebrating her birthday.
Cary Hithon, Cariann's father, said told FOX 5 that his daughter wanted to be a lawyer and had just transferred to Temple University from Hampton University. He said she has had some mental health issues in the past and he has tried to help her with those issues.
“My immediate reaction when the police officer gave me the report of what happened – you know, of course rage went up in me,” said Cary Hithon, Cariann’s father. “How could things escalate with a 5’2”, 5’3”, 110 pound soaking wet young lady who couldn’t harm a fly? It was my immediate reaction. And then looking at the other details, I can only surmise that my daughter panicked.”
Court records online show Cariann has received tickets for driving with a suspended license and for speeding. Also, in one case, her father filed a police report against her for unlawful use of a vehicle and unlawful taking of property.
According to the Temple University’s Student Government Facebook page, she was pursuing a political science degree.
Hithon's Linkedin profile showed she was also studying African and Greek Philosophy. Her profile shows that she participated in a summer legal internship in Prince George's County and that she attended Hampton University from 2013 to earlier this year.