Man dies after crashing car into barricade at US Capitol and firing gun

The man exited the vehicle and fired a gun into the air before turning weapon on himself, police say

The US Capitol building in Washington. Bloomberg
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A man drove a car into a barricade near the US Capitol, firing a gun into the air before fatally shooting himself, police in Washington said.

CNN reported that the incident happened shortly after 4am, at East Capitol Street and Second Street.

After he crashed into the barricade he exited his car, which became “engulfed in flames”, and fired several shots into the air, Capitol Police said in a statement.

They said the man shot himself as the officers arrived and was later pronounced dead.

“At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons,” the statement read.

“Our investigators are looking into the man's background.”

Authorities said no other injuries were reported.

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 following the FBI’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The attack is reminiscent of an incident in April 2021, when a man drove a vehicle into two Capitol Police officers at a checkpoint, killing an 18-year member of the force.

AP contributed to this report

Updated: August 14, 2022, 2:48 PM