A man died by suicide early Sunday morning after driving his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol then firing a gun in the air. The incident, which is still under investigation, happened a little after 4 a.m. Sunday at the vehicle barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street. According to a statement from U.S. Capitol Police: “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.”
No one else was injured, and the USCP added that, “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.”
On Sunday afternoon, the USCP identified the man as 29-year-old Richard A. York of Delaware, but said in a statement that “it is still not clear why he chose to drive to the Capitol Complex.” Washington, D.C. Metro Police are handling the investigation into his death.
“It appears that the individual may have started the fire himself as he was getting out of the car,” Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters on Sunday morning. “We do know that the subject has a criminal history over the past ten years or so, but nothing that at this point would link him to anything here at the Capitol,” Manger added. He said that the suspect’s background was being reviewed for signs of a possible motive.
The incident comes days after an armed man who had attended the January 6 Capitol riot in 2021 attacked the FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was later shot and killed by police.
In April 2021, one USCP officer was killed and another injured when a man rammed his car into a barricade on Constitution Avenue. The driver, who was apparently suffering delusions, was shot and killed by police after getting out of the vehicle, brandishing a knife, and lunging at officers.
This post has been updated.