A man shot himself after ramming his car into a security barricade in the Capitol on Sunday morning, police said.
US Capitol Police said in an initial, brief statement that a man exited his vehicle after the crash at around 4 p.m., after which the vehicle “came into flames.”
Police said the man “fired several shots into the air” and shot himself when officers approached.
“They had heard gunshots, and Capitol police officers were responding. As [the man] reached the eastern front of the Capitol property, one of our officers saw him holding a gun to his head and shooting himself ,” Chief Tom Manger told reporters later on Sunday. “Our officers then made sure he was not a threat and then contacted him. And, in fact, he was dead.”
Late on Sunday, police identified the man as 29-year-old Richard A. of Delaware. of York III as and that his kin have been informed.
Police said in their first statement that no one else was injured in the incident and that York did not appear to be targeting members of Congress who are on leave.
“[I]t it does not appear that the officers fired their weapons,” police said.
York’s background check is underway, according to officials. DC Police is “handling the investigation into the death.” In a separate statement DC Police confirmed this but said they had “no further details on the identity of the deceased or motive”.
Manger said at Sunday’s press conference that it was not clear whether the incident was the result of a mental health emergency.
“A very preliminary investigation did not reveal anything on social media,” he said, adding, “Part of the investigation is that we speak to this person’s family and friends, perhaps, if we can get more information from them.” Can get it.”
Capitol police did not know about York prior to the incident, Manger said.
“We know that the subject has had a criminal history over the past 10 years,” he said. “But nothing, at this point, will connect him to anything here in the Capitol.”
The incident comes at a time law enforcement has called growing concerns of political violence – and in the shadow of the dreaded attacks on the Capitol over the past two years.
A Capitol police officer was killed in a car-ramming attack in April 2021, months after the deadly rebellion in which a violent mob ransacked the building and temporarily hid lawmakers.