October 5, 1995
October 8, 2017
Age at Death:
Carianne Hithon was a college student at Temple University in Philadelphia majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. An honor's student, she had dreams of attending law school and was a talented baker and makeup artist. She had participated in mentorship programs for community children for years prior to her transfer to Temple, and those who knew her well described her as a happy person and a good friend. She is survived by her parents, Cary J. Hithon and Sherry A. Hithon; sister, Rachel Hithon; godfather, Kenneth Trass; godmother, Erlene Frances; a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
Carianne was visiting Miami to celebrate her 22nd birthday. She was shot by a police officer while driving away from a scene in which she sped through a tourist area of Miami, hitting multiple cars and a police officer, who recovered from his injuries. Her blood alcohol level indicated that she was severely impaired at the time of her death.
Was justice served?
By all accounts, Carianne's behavior was completely out of the ordinary. Her father claims that she must have been panicking, but her family and friends were totally stunned. Miami law prohibits the police from shooting at a moving vehicle, but an exception was enacted five months prior to the tragedy in order to allow officers to fire if a car was moving toward a crowd. Additionally, under Florida’s “fleeing felon” law, police can open fire on someone suspected of committing a felony and who could pose a threat to the public. However, although Carianne had driven into a crowd, camera footage shows that she was moving away from the crowd after hitting the police officer when the shooting began. As of February 5, 2021, the officer is still on duty, and the State's Attorney found no wrongdoing on the part of the police.