Student killed by police in Miami

Miami Beach Police shot Cariann Hithon on Sunday after “driving recklessly” and attempting to flee.

Cariann Hithon, a political science and philosophy major, was shot and killed by police in Miami on Sunday evening. VIA: YOUTUBE

UPDATED at 5:43 p.m. on Oct. 12

President Richard Englert sent an email to the Temple community on Thursday  “with a heavy heart” regarding the death of  political science major Cariann Hithon.

“Cariann’s recent death in Miami Beach, Florida, adds to the sorrow we have been feeling this semester upon the losses of students Jenna Burleigh and Richard Dalcourt,” Englert wrote in his email. “To have three deaths in such a short period is unusual and has an impact on the entire Temple family.”

“We want to make sure that each person in our community is cared for during this time of sorrow,” Englert added.

Englert announced that Temple Student Government will hold a “healing” at 5 p.m. in the Underground in the Student Center as a chance to show Temple’s “unity, compassion and resilience.”

Temple students who have been affected by the deaths of their peers are encouraged to utilize Tuttleman Counseling Services.

UPDATED at 1:45 a.m. on Oct. 10

The Miami Beach Police officer who shot Cariann Hithon, a political sciene major, has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident, the Inquirer reported.

Hithon was shot by the officer, whose name has not been released, and taken to a hospital on Sunday night where she later died.

Officer Dave Cajuso, who was struck by Hithon’s vehicle, was initially unconscious, but is now in stable condition. He sustained a head injury and possible internal injuries, the Inquirer reported.

UPDATED at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 9

Temple Student Government released a statement to the student body about the death of transfer political science major Cariann Hithon.

“TSG has been made aware of a tragic event in Miami, Florida that has claimed the life of one of our own,” the statement reads.

TSG praised Hithon’s work with mentorship programs for community children before she transferred to Temple, among her other leadership positions.

Hithon was shot and killed by police in Miami on Sunday evening. She is the third Temple student to die this semester, which has stretched just more than two months.

“This has been a painful semester, Owls. We know. We hear you. We see you. We support you,” TSG wrote.

Students who are impacted by Hithon’s death are encouraged to go to Tuttleman Counseling Services and individual TSG members are available to talk in Room 244 in the Student Center, according to the statement.

UPDATED at 7:22 p.m. on Oct. 9

Temple released a statement about transfer political science major Cariann Hithon, who was shot and killed by police in Miami on Sunday evening.

“We are saddened to just be learning of the death of Cariann Hithon, a transfer student majoring in political science,” the statement to The Temple News reads. “As we gather more information and assess our community’s needs for support, we send our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.”

Cariann Hithon, a political science and philosophy Temple student, was fatally shot by Miami Beach Police on Sunday evening.

Police are still investigating why the officer opened fire, the Miami New Times reported. The name of the officer who shot and killed Hithon has not been released.

MBPD said Hithon was driving “erratically” Sunday evening. She drove her car into another vehicle, drove through a red light, hit another vehicle and attempted to drive away from the scene, but struck Officer David Cajuso, the Miami New Times reported.

Hithon was celebrating her 22nd birthday in Miami, her father told CBS Miami.

Hithon was from Bowie, Maryland and transferred to Temple in Fall 2017 from Hampton University, a historically black university in Hampton, Virginia, according to her LinkedIn page. While at Hampton University, Hithon was a member of the school’s honors college and participated in Sister-to-Sister, a mentorship program for empowering women.

A video posted on Instagram shows a person, who is allegedly Hithon, sitting at the wheel in a black BMW with a male passenger. There is a dent on the hood of the car’s passenger side. The male passenger gets out of the car and as a police officer gets closer to the vehicle, Hithon drives forward and hits Cajuso.

An officer who is out of the way of the vehicle then fires several shots at Hithon’s vehicle where she later crashes her car into other vehicles on the street.

A witness told CBS Miami that cops shot at Hithon “four or five” times.

Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police President Bobby Jenkins released a statement on Monday defending the officer who killed Hithon, the Miami New Times reported.

“It is unfortunate that yesterday’s events ended in the loss of life, yet it is an officer’s duty to ensure the safety of the public under the imminent threat of harm from an individual,” the statement reads.

Police said the officer shot at Hithon “to prevent her from hitting other innocent people.”

Officials from Temple could not immediately be reached for comment.

This story is developing and will be updated throughout the week. Check back at The Temple News for regular updates.

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