*A 22-year-old Temple University student went down to South Beach to celebrate her birthday and ended up losing her life at the hands of a Miami Beach, Florida police officer.

Cariann Hithon was fatally shot Sunday evening 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.

 

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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.

The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Regarding Cariann Hithon, her father, Cary Hithon, 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.

Gary6 Hithon also 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.”

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