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Vehicle Rams Vatican Security Gate

A vehicle rammed through the Vatican security gate around 8 p.m. Thursday night. Vatican Gendarmerie attempted to stop the vehicle before opening fire and apprehending the driver.

The driver had rammed through the Santa Anna Gate and into the San Damaso Courtyard. Police opened fire at the tires of the car, but the driver was able to continue through. Upon reaching the courtyard, the driver exited the vehicle and was promptly arrested by Vatican gendarmes.

The driver, an unnamed 40-year-old man, was apparently suffering from a “serious state of psychophysical alteration,” according to the Vatican Press Office. The driver has been taken into custody and has been detained in the Vatican Barracks.

It is currently unclear if Pope Francis was near the incident.

Pope Francis resides at the Santa Marta Hotel, on the opposite side of Vatican City, where he would usually be taking dinner and retiring to his room at this hour.

This is the second incident involving someone in an ongoing psychiatric crisis causing a violent disturbance in the Vatican. During a 2009 Christmas Mass, a woman in an altered state jumped the barricades in an attempt to attack Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope was unharmed, although a nearby Cardinal had broken his hip during the altercation.

Trent Barr
Trent Barr
Trent has years of experience and training in open source intelligence gathering and journalism. He specializes in Latin American, German, and Vatican affairs, with a broader interest in European politics. Trent serves as the Latin America Desk Chief for Atlas News.

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