US Capitol

Man Killed Himself After Ramming Car Into US Capitol Barricade

Authorities do not believe the man was targeting members of Congress, which is currently on recess

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A man is dead after driving his car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, firing several shots and then shooting himself, according to U.S. Capitol Police.

Richard A. York III, of Delaware, was the driver, police said in an update Sunday afternoon. He was 29.

After crashing into the barricade, the man got out of his car as it became engulfed in flames. He then fired several shots into the air along East Capitol Street, police said.

"It appears that the individual may have started the fire himself as he was getting out of the car," Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said.

He added that while the fire department investigated the blaze, possible incendiaries were found in what was left of the car.

"There did appear to be aerosol cans in the car. I mean everything else was just burnt up," Manger said.

DC Fire and EMS received reports of a vehicle fire and a person shot at about 4 a.m. at East Capitol and Second Streets NE.

Around the same time, Capitol police officers heard gunfire and immediately responded to the area, which is near the U.S. Supreme Court and one block east of the Capitol.

"He took out a handgun and began firing that gun indiscriminately, and he fired it a number of times," Manger said.

When officers approached the man, he turned the gun on himself. According to police, it does not appear any officers fired their weapons.

No other injuries were reported.

Police said York, who has addresses listed in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Manger said that initially, there’s nothing that would suggest a political motivation for Saturday's incident. That angle is still being investigated. Officers do not believe the man was targeting members of Congress, which was on recess at the time.

Authorities identified the driver Sunday as a Delaware man who was known to law enforcement, but the motive of the crash is still unclear. News4's Derrick Ward reports.

At the crime scene, News4's video shows scorch marks on the ground and a burned white car being towed away.

U.S. Capitol Police have been on high alert following the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the Capitol and several other incidents. In April 2021 a U.S. Capitol Police officer died and another was badly injured in a car attack. Buildings were evacuated at least two more times that year due to a bomb threat and an investigation into suspicious vehicle.

Capitol Police are investigating the man’s background. The Metropolitan Police Department is handling the death investigation.

Suicide Prevention Help: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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