A man crashed his car into a barricade close to the US Capitol on Sunday morning, fired several times into the air, and then turned the gun on himself, according to a US Capitol Police statement.
Richard A. York III, a 29-year-old Delaware resident, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at around 4 am after crashing his vehicle at East Capitol and Second Streets near the Supreme Court.
The vehicle had become “engulfed in flames” and officers approached him in response to the gunshots when he ended his life.
Capitol police officers did not shoot back at York, according to the statement, and no one else was hurt. Authorities said that he had a criminal history, including convictions for assault, theft, and burglary, but details were not immediately available.
His motive is also unclear.
“At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any members of Congress, who are on recess,” the police statement said.
Increased Political Violence
Attacks against public buildings and officials have increased since the January 6 attack on the Capitol, according to The New York Times.
A man tried to break into the Cincinnati office of the FBI on Thursday and was killed by law enforcement after a standoff lasting several hours. The FBI had been investigating him for several months for his possible involvement in the US Capital attack.
Furthermore, the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and subsequent discovery of classified documents in his possession has resulted in right-wing figures and Republican politicians warning of potential political violence.