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Man rams car into US Capitol barricade, opens fire as car bursts into flames

Police car lights (Dreamstime/TNS)
August 14, 2022

A man rammed his car it into a barricade in front of the U.S. Capitol early Sunday morning, according to a U.S. Capitol Police. The suspect then got out of his car as it burst into flames and began randomly firing a gun before turning this weapon on himself.

The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that the suspect drove his car into a barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street just after 4 a.m. Sunday morning. 

While exiting his car outside the Capitol, the suspect’s vehicle “became engulfed in flames.” The suspect then “fired several shots into the air.” Capitol Police officers started approaching the gunman, at which point he shot himself. No one else was injured during the incident.

The following is the U.S. Capitol Police’s entire statement:

Just after 4:00 a.m., a man drove his car into the vehicle barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street. While the man was getting out of the car, it became engulfed in flames. The man then fired several shots into the air along East Capitol Street. When our officers heard the sound of gunfire, they immediately responded and were approaching the man when he shot himself. Nobody else was hurt. 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. Our investigators are looking into the man’s background. DC’s Metropolitan Police Department is handling the death investigation.

PBS correspondent Lisa Desjardins first reported the incident Sunday morning.

“Breaking. Multiple sources tell me overnight a man set his car on fire and drove into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol. He started shooting indiscriminately, ultimately shot and killed himself,” she wrote. “One source tells me no one else injured. Waiting for @CapitolPolice confirm.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Capitol was evacuated after Capitol Police said an aircraft in the area posed a “probable threat.” An “all clear” message was called soon after and the Capitol Police said there was no threat.

“The USCP is tracking an aircraft that poses a probable threat to the Capitol Complex,” the initial announcement said. “Evacuate the U.S. Capitol, Capitol Visitor Center, Hart, Dirksen, Russell, Cannon, Longworth, Rayburn, Library of Congress (Jefferson, Madison and Adams) and U.S. Botanic Garden (Administrative and Conservatory) buildings.”