An armed motorist reportedly rammed a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Sunday morning and then took his own life after his vehicle caught on fire.
The incident occurred at about 4. am. at East Capitol Street NE and 22nd Street SE.
“Authorities said the man, whose identity has not been released, crashed into the barricade and that as he was getting out of the car, the vehicle became engulfed in flames. The man then opened fire, firing several shots into the air as police approached. Capitol Police said the man shot himself as the officers neared. He was later pronounced dead,” the Associated Press reported.
The AP summary seems to track a statement released by the Capitol Police itself.
The agency also noted that no officer apparently fired back.
JUST IN: Full statement from Capitol Police on man who slammed car into Capitol barricade and fired shots into the air. pic.twitter.com/gT1jTwRMf1
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 14, 2022
There were no other injuries in the encounter. Capitol cops asserted that the wheelman/gunman was not targeting any lawmaker, especially since Congress is currently in recess until after Labor Day.
At that hour, the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., is practically deserted in any event.
An investigation is ongoing, including into the deceased suspect’s background. Roads around the Capitol were temporarily closed as cops investigated.
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is the lead agency conducting the inquiry into the man’s death.
“The attack is reminiscent of an incident when a man drove a vehicle into two Capitol Police officers at a checkpoint in April 2021, killing an 18-year veteran of the force,” AP noted.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 5, 2021
“Security at and around the Capitol has been heightened in the year and a half since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. Capitol Police erected tall fences and barriers around the complex that stood for weeks in the aftermath,” CBS News recalled.
According to the Washington Post, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger briefed the media about the Sunday incident in the preliminary stages of the probe and indicated that the suspect’s purpose is currently unknown.
Manger said officers ‘did not hear the individual say anything’ during the incident. He said investigators were exploring the man’s social media and running his name through databases, but had so far found nothing tying him to the Capitol. ‘We don’t have any information that would indicate his motivation at this point,’ Manger said…Manger said investigators were exploring whether the man might have started the blaze, as it did not appear to have been sparked by the collision…Manger said investigators had found addresses for the man in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and he had some criminal history over the past 10 years.
More facts will presumably emerge as the law enforcement agencies continued to look into the matter.
The extent of follow-up media coverage may depend upon whether politics, and what kind, factored into the occurrence, if any.
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