Miami Beach, FL – Video has been released of a suspect driving through a crowd and running down a police officer before she was fatally shot by the police Sunday evening (video below.)
The incident happened at around 6:15 PM as Cariann Hithon, 22, got into her black BMW in the 1400 block of Ocean Drive took off south, according to Local 10.
Hithon passed other cars in the oncoming lane before striking two vehicles at the intersection of 12th Street and Ocean Drive.
She then continued to drive west on 12th Street and ran a red light at Collins Ave, and struck another vehicle.
Witnesses and officers approached, trying to help the victims and check on Hithon. She then drove through the crowd and ran down a Officer David Cajuso with her car.
“All of the sudden, she like, starts the car and runs over the policeman,” a witness told Local 10.
Another officer fired their gun to stop Hithon, and struck Hithon at least once.
“She’s going to jail,” the cameraman said. He was wrong.
Officers performed CPR to Hithon on scene and she was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Officer Cajuso was knocked unconscious when the car hit him. The details of his injuries have not been disclosed, but he was treated at the hospital and released.
The officer who shot Cariann Hithon has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated.
While the shooting appears to be legally justified, the agency policy is much more strict than the legal requirements for deadly force.
Up until May, the policy for firing at moving vehicles stated that deadly force was allowed if “a person in the vehicle is immediately threatening the officer or another person with deadly force by means other than the vehicle.”
Yes, that means if somebody is actively murdering an officer with a vehicle, officers couldn’t shoot them under policy. San Francisco PD recently adopted a policy with similar wording.
After the recent vehicle terrorist attacks, the policy was changed to be a bit more ambiguous, stating, “a moving vehicle alone shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies an officer’s use of deadly force.” This revised policy appears to allow for lethal force against somebody who’s actively using a car to hit people, and not just driving towards them.
You can see the shooting video below. WARNING: Graphic content: