A man drove into a barricade near the United States Capitol in Washington DC early Sunday morning, fired several shots into the air after his vehicle was set on fire, and then shot himself, police said.
Officials were quick to note that they had not identified a motive for the man’s actions, although they said there was no indication that he had directed it at congressmen, who were in recess at the time.
The man – whose identity has not been released – crashed his car into the barricades at East Capitol and Second Street, a press statement from the Capitol Police said.
When he got out of his car, the car went up in flames. The man shot several times with a pistol into the air, after which officers approached him.
The man shot himself as officers approached, according to the Capitol Police Department. No one else was injured.
“At this point, it doesn’t appear that the man targeted members of Congress who are on recess, and it doesn’t appear that officers fired their weapons,” police said.
Investigators on Sunday examined the man’s background and did not immediately release preliminary findings.
The Guardian contacted the DC medical examiner’s office and asked for the driver’s name in Sunday’s case, but could not get an immediate response.
Sunday’s events reminded some of the April 2021 death of Capitol police officer Billy Evans, who was killed when a Virginia man drove his car into a barricade.
In addition, in 2013, Capitol police shot and killed a Connecticut woman near a facility checkpoint after she ran her car into a White House barricade and fled Pennsylvania.
The drivers in each of those cases had mental illness, Politico reported in its Sunday newsletter.