Watch CBSN Live

D.C. chase victim was fleeing danger, her sisters say

HARTFORD, Conn. The sisters of a Connecticut woman fatally shot by police in Washington after she tried to ram her car through a barrier near the White House said Monday she wasn't delusionaland suggest she may have been fleeing danger.

The two sisters of Miriam Carey, who was killed Thursday with her 13-month-old child in her car, disputed the accounts of officials and their sister's one-time boyfriend that she was under the delusion that President Barack Obama was communicating with her.

Raw video: Capitol Hill car chase, shooting
} }

"What I do see is that perhaps maybe my sister was a little afraid being surrounded by officers with their guns drawn," Valarie Carey said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show. "My sister was fleeing. She was trying to figure out how to get out of there."

The other sister, Amy Carey-Jones, suggests police overreacted or were negligent.

"I feel that things could have been handled a lot differently," she said. "We still feel that there was maybe another story than what we're being told."

Valarie Carey said officials' descriptions of her sister are "not the Miriam we knew."

"She was not walking around delusional, which is what we really want the public to understand," she said.

Police said Carey led Secret Service and police on a car chase from the White House past the Capitol, trying to penetrate the security barriers at both national landmarks.

In a CNN interview on Monday morning, Eric Sanders, the lawyer representing the two sisters, rejected the suggestion that Miriam Carey is partly responsible for her own death.

"She didn't contribute to anything," he said. "She had absolutely every right to be in the nation's capital."

The issue is how police handled the matter, he said.

Police in Washington say they're reviewing the encounter and the use of deadly force.

At the time of the incident, the officers who shot and killed Carey may have thought her motive was terroristic, a police shooting expert told CBS News' Crimesider.

"Our nation's capital has been and continues to be a target, and people who work for the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police and the Secret Service understand that and have certain protocols in place" to deal with such a perceived threat, said Prof. David Klinger of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Although U.S. Capitol Police later determined that there was no link to terrorism and that it appeared to be an isolated incident, Klinger, a former Los Angeles Police officer and the author of "Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force," said that in the aftermath of a shooting incident, an officer's actions will be judged based on what a "reasonable officer on the scene" would have thought was occurring.