Early Sunday morning a man drove his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol and then began firing gunshots in the air from the burning car before fatally shooting himself, police said.
Authorities said the man 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. Authorities said no other injuries were reported and police do not believe any officers returned fire. The incident happened just before 4 a.m. at a vehicle barricade set at East Capitol Street and 2nd Street in Washington.
Police also stated that “it does not appear the man was targeting any member of Congress” and that investigators are examining the man’s background to establish a possible motive. Both the House and Senate are in recess and very few staff members work in the Capitol complex at that early.
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.
This also comes after just today when the FBI and DHS issued a Joint Intelligence Bullet warning of “the potential for domestic violent extremists to carry out attacks…in reaction to the FBI’s recent execution of a court-authorized search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida,” and more per internal memo obtained by Ken Klippenstein.
The attack is also 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. And many on Capitol Hill remain on edge after supporters of the then-president stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Security at and around the Capitol has been heightened in the year and a half since the Jan. 6th attack. Capitol Police erected tall fences and barriers around the complex that stood for weeks in the aftermath.