Video Captures 22-Yr-Old Aspiring Attorney Fatally Shot By Florida Police After A Car Accident In Her BMW
A bizarre series of traffic accidents, including the hit-and-run of a police officer, ended in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Cariann Hithon. The future law student and Bowie, Md., native was in Miami celebrating her birthday. But on Sunday, Oct. 8, Hithon was shot by a Miami Beach Police officer multiple times as she fled the scene of that hit-and-run. Hithon crashed her BMW and was taken to Ryder Trauma Center where she was pronounced dead.
The officer Hithon ran into is David Cajuso who has been on the Miami Beach police force since 2015. He suffered a head injury and reportedly lost consciousness after Hithon struck him. Cajuso is expected to recover, but witnesses say that the damage Hithon inflicted could have been a lot worse.
“The car was coming westbound from Ocean on 12th and went through the red light, struck an occupied car on 12th and Collins,” Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates told the press. “At some point, the driver made a decision to speed away and she continued west on 12th Street… Why the BMW was travelling at some rate of speed through a red light, we don’t have an answer to that question right now.”
22-year-old student fatally shot by police on her birthday in #Florida. #TempleUniversity student #CariannHithon in town to celebrate her birthday drove her BMW into a Florida police officer and was fatally shot by another officer in Miami Beach in front of a crowd of onlookers, police said. Read more in BIO #africacablenetwork
— Julia Bagg (@JuliaNBC6) October 10, 2017
Why Did She Do It?
Ryan Jerrell Lucas of Maryland, 22, was in the car with Hithon when she struck the officer. Investigators have spoken to him in hopes of finding out why Hithon was driving so wrecklessly. Lucas has also spoken to Cary Hithon, Cariann’s father, but the details of those conversations have not yet been released.
There is much speculation that Cariann had been drinking heavily. In the video of the final accident, witnesses can be heard saying that she was drunk and had a crazed look in her eyes. Heartbroken by the news, Cary can’t understand why his daughter was acting so “out of character.” He reflected on a conversation they had recently where they discussed responsibility and giving back to her people through her work as an attorney.
“You can’t help but have a little bit of despair and anguish behind something like this because you don’t understand how it could happen,” Cary said to WFOR-TV.
I really don't think Miami police had to shoot into that car.. Idc idc idc. Why couldn't they shoot out her tires? #CariannHithon
— reclaiming my time. (@_SwatchQueen) October 10, 2017
Did Cariann Have To Die?
Those who knew Cariann Hithon saw great things for her in the future. She was a leader and mentor who studied political science at Temple University. Her father thought that she would make a huge impact on society. In spite of her erratic behavior that day, many wonder if she had to die. The officer who shot her aimed directly into her car as opposed to shooting out her tires. Whatever the reasons for this tragedy, Cariann will be greatly missed by many–including her alma mater.
“We await all the facts as this is still a breaking story, but our thoughts are with Cariann’s friends and family during this tremendously difficult time,” Temple spokeswoman Sarah Madaus said in a prepared statement. “We are so proud and grateful to have had her as a Temple Owl.”
Statement regarding the tragic event in Miami that led to the loss of our own Cariann Denise Hithon. pic.twitter.com/Ua8lDhk4bn
— Temple Student Gov't (@TempleTSG) October 10, 2017