A 22-year-old Temple University student was fatally shot Sunday evening by a police officer in Miami Beach, Fla., after the car she was driving struck another officer in what appeared to be an attempt to flee the scene of an accident.
“We are saddened to just be learning of the death of Cariann Hithon, a transfer student majoring in political science,” said Temple spokesman Brandon Lausch in an email Monday night. “As we gather more information and assess our community’s needs for support, we send our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.”
Hithon, of Bowie, Md., was driving a black BMW with a male passenger Sunday when it hit two cars, the Miami Herald reported. The BMW then ran a red light and crashed into a Mercedes-Benz driven by a retired county homicide detective.
As police and a crowd gather around the damaged BMW, a graphic eyewitness video shows, the car speeds forward, knocking a police officer to the pavement. Another officer then fires three shots into the car and it veers to a stop down the street.
Hithon was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
The officer struck by the BMW “lost consciousness at the scene,” Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates said Sunday night. The officer was in stable condition at a hospital with a head injury and possible internal injuries, Oates said.
MBPD Chief Oates discusses the officer involved shooting and the moments which led to that shooting. One male officer…
The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Cary Hithon, her father, told the Herald that she had recently transferred to Temple from Hampton University in Virginia and was on course to graduate this spring with a degree in political science. She then planned to attend law school.
Her father told a CBS station that she was in Miami to celebrate her 22nd birthday.
“I have no answers,” he said. “She was just loving life and having a good time.”
Hithon is the third Temple student to die under tragic circumstances this semester.
Jenna Burleigh, 22, was allegedly killed by a former Temple student she met at a bar near campus on Aug. 31. Richard Dalcourt, 19, died Oct. 3 in a fall from his sixth-floor dorm room in what was ruled a suicide.
“This has been a painful semester, Owls,” the Temple Student Government said in a statement. “We know. We hear you. We see you. We support you.”
The government directed students feeling “overwhelmed, upset, distressed, or anything else” to counseling and support services available to them.