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Oct. 1-4 The nadir of 2013?

Darrow Montgomery

Perhaps the worst week of the year, Oct. 1 to 4 unleashed a series of unrelated miseries on D.C. On Oct. 1, the federal government shuttered. While the shutdown choked the city, a pair of tragedies unfolded in quick succession. On Oct. 3, Miriam Carey, an unarmed woman suffering from mental illness, drove her car into a White House perimeter fence, then led officers on a chase to the Capitol, where she was shot and killed by Capitol Police. It wasn’t just terrifying; it might have been a violation of police protocol—officials are investigating whether the officers acted properly in shooting at Carey’s car. Compounding matters, Carey’s daughter was in the car the whole time.

And on Oct. 4, a New Jersey man, also suffering from mental illness, lit himself on fire on the National Mall. Horrifying news reports revealed that joggers on the Mall attempted to douse the flames with their own stripped-off clothing, but John Constantino, a father of three, later died of his injuries. It was a dreadful week, and no amount of shutdown drink specials could help.

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