Capitol crash: car through barrier, man shoots himself: police

Police are still investigating a motive but said the man “did not appear to be targeting a congressman.”

WASHINGTON — A man drove his car into a barricade near the US Capitol early Sunday and then began firing shots in the air before fatally shooting himself, according to police, who said he did not appear to be a member of the Congress targeted.

The incident happened just before 4 a.m. at a vehicular barricade at East Capitol Street NE and 2nd Street SE in Washington.

It comes at a time when law enforcement agencies across the country are facing a growing number of threats, and federal officials have warned of possible violent attacks on government buildings in the days since The FBI is raiding former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

RELATED: Which led to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago

The attack is reminiscent of an incident involving a man drove a vehicle into two Capitol Police Officers at a checkpoint in April 2021, killing an 18-year veteran of the force. And many on Capitol Hill remain nervous after supporters of the then-president stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Authorities said the man, identified as Richard A. York III, 29, of Delaware, crashed into the barricade and when he got out of the car, the vehicle burst into flames. The man then opened fire and fired several shots in the air as police approached.

Capitol Police said the man shot himself as officers approached. He was later pronounced dead.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said officers did not hear the man say anything before he “indiscriminately” opened fire with a handgun in the street and walked toward the Capitol. Authorities are investigating whether the man may have set fire to his car, the chief said, because the collision does not appear to have caused the fire.

Police officers at the scene saw the man fatally shoot himself as they approached, Manger said.

The boss said investigators found addresses for the man in Delaware and Pennsylvania and learned he had a criminal history for the past decade, though his motive remained unclear and he had no ties to the Capitol.

“We have no information at this time that would indicate his motivation,” Manger said.

Police said “it does not appear that the man targeted a member of Congress” and that investigators are looking into the man’s background while trying to determine a motive. Both the House of Representatives and Senate are on recess and very few employees are working in the Capitol complex at this hour.

Authorities said no other injuries were reported and police do not believe officers returned fire. Capitol crash: car through barrier, man shoots himself: police

Laura Coffey

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