WASHINGTON — A man drove his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol early Sunday and then began firing gunshots in the air before fatally shooting himself, police said.
It occurred just before 4 a.m. on a vehicle barrier at East Capitol Street NE in Washington.
It comes at a time when law enforcement authorities across the country are facing an increasing number of threats and federal officials have warned about the potential of violent attacks on government buildings in the days since the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
It is similar to an attack in which a car drove into two Capitol Police officers during a checkpoint on April 20, 2021. This incident resulted in the death of an 18-year veteran. Many Capitol Hill residents remain nervous after the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the former president on January 6, 2021.
The man was not identified by authorities. He crashed his vehicle into the barricade as he attempted to exit the car. As the police neared, the man started firing shots at high altitude.
Capitol Police stated that the man killed himself while officers were approaching. He was later declared dead.
Police said “it does not appear the man was targeting any member of Congress” and that investigators are examining the man’s background as they work to try to discern a motive. Each House and Senate are currently in recess. Very few Capitol employees work during that time.
According to authorities, no injuries have been reported. Police also said that they don’t believe officers fired back.
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