Miami Beach

‘How in the World Could This Happen?': Father of College Student Killed by Police on Miami Beach Speaks

Video shows moment Cariann Hithon was fatally shot by police after hitting officer

The father of a college student who was shot and killed by police after they say she ran over a Miami Beach officer is speaking out, as video showing the fatal encounter was posted on social media.

Cariann Hithon, a 22-year-old Temple University student from Bowie, Maryland, was celebrating her birthday in Miami Beach when the incident unfolded Sunday night.

"It's hard to express the amount of pain and distress you feel," her father, Cary Hithon, told NBC Philadelphia Monday night. "What the heck could have gone wrong, I mean don't we have enough of this going on in this country?"

Police say Hithon got behind the wheel of the BMW in the 1400 block of Ocean Drive around 6:15 p.m., then drove at a high rate of speed southbound, passing cars in the oncoming lane and hitting two cars at the intersection of 12th Street and Ocean Drive.

Hithon fled the crash scene and hit another car at 12th Street and Collins Avenue, as witnesses and officers responded to the intersection, police said.

Video posted on Instagram showed the crowd around the damaged BMW, as a man got out of the passenger side and an officer ordered Hithon to get out. Moments later, the car starts moving forward, hitting at least one officer as another officer opens fire on the car.

Hithon was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she later died. The officer who was struck, David Cajuso, was also hospitalized and later released.

"That kind of activity is not rational, I can't explain why she wouldn't have listened to commands," Cary Hithon said. "As a father and as a man of God, obviously I want the truth to come out."

Hithon had attended Hampton University in Virginia but transferred to Temple, where she was studying political science and philosophy. The Temple Student Government released a statement saying that "our thoughts are with Cariann's friends and family during this tremendously difficult time."

Cary Hithon is demanding answers but said he's waiting for an autopsy and toxicology report.

"How in the world could this happen?" he said.

Officials haven't released the name of the officer who opened fire. The man who was in the car with Hithon was identified as 22-year-old Ryan Jerrell Lucas, also from Maryland.

Relatives said Hithon and Lucas were friends from church.

Miami-Dade Police are investigating the shooting.

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