Was police-involved shooting of Maryland woman justified?

Cariann Hithon seemed to have everything going for herself. Her former high school shows she was a thriving and active student. But police say Hithon tried to run over one of their officers with her car yesterday.

BOWIE, MD. (WUSA9) - Police shot and killed a Maryland woman in Miami, Florida after they said she tried to run over one of their officers with her car on Monday.

The passenger in the car is identified as 22-year-old Ryan Lucas.

He was detained, questioned, and later released.

RELATED: Bowie woman reportedly shot, killed by Fla. police after striking officer with car

Cariann Hithon, who is from Bowie, was in Miami celebrating her 22nd birthday.

“Was very like scary looking. I think she was on drugs or something,” a witness told CBS Miami after the crash.

However, police have not released a toxicology report or results from an autopsy.

Witness video showed a black BMW plowing into a police officer.

Investigators said Hithon was the driver behind the wheel trying to escape after hitting two vehicles.

The video shows an officer being hit head-on, and another officer opening fire.

Hithon died at the hospital, and the officer who was hit is expected to be OK.

“This is going to be hard. This is going to be hard,” Cary Hithon said.

Hithon’s father found the incident hard to believe.

His daughter was a recent college graduate with her eyes set on law school.

She graduated from St Johns College High School about four years ago where she was a part of the French and Spanish clubs, on the debate team, and a member of the national honors society.

The school sent their thoughts and prayers and said they were deeply saddened to hear she died.

“5’2”, 5’3," 110-pound lady that could harm a flea being fired upon by the police. Obviously, some of us will never be able to understand it,” Hithon said.

In Florida, there is a law called the “fleeing felon rule” that may apply in this situation.

It allows police to open fire on someone suspected of committing a felony crime and fleeing the scene especially if it may threaten the public’s safety.

However, police said it is too early in the investigation to tell.

“Legally they may be perfectly in their right to do so. That's going to be a hard one to swallow. It's going to be a hard pill to swallow,” Hithon said.

The unidentified officer who fired his gun is on leave during the investigation

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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