US Capitol police are investigating after they say a man rammed his vehicle into a security barrier outside Congress on Sunday before killing himself.
“Just after 4 a.m., a man drove his car into the vehicle barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street,” Capitol Police said in a statement.
“As the man got out of the car, it was engulfed in flames,” they said. “The man then fired several shots in the air along East Capitol Street.”
Officers responded to the sound of gunfire, they say, and when they approached the man he turned his gun on himself.
“At this time, it does not appear that the man was targeting members of Congress, who are on vacation, and it does not appear that any officers fired their weapons,” Capitol Police said.
The statement said officers do not yet know what prompted the man to his actions.
The incident comes amid growing calls for violence against law enforcement, according to the FBI, and following a search and seizure last Monday of a trove of government documents found at the house. ‘former president. Donald Trump’s residence in Florida.
On Thursday morning, Ricky Shiffer, 42, a Navy submarine veteran, tried to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, in an apparent effort to get revenge on the agency for the raid.
“If you don’t hear from me, it is true that I tried to attack the FBI,” Shiffer reportedly wrote on Trump’s Truth social media platform, before urging his supporters to be “prepared to fight”.
Shiffer, allegedly armed with a rifle, attempted to use a nail gun to shatter the bulletproof glass of the field office.
“Subject eventually fled and was encountered by the FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement near Wilmington, OH. Subject fired at law enforcement. During the “incident, law enforcement also fired their weapons. At approximately 3:45 p.m., the subject was shot and died,” the FBI said in a statement Thursday.
“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be of deep concern to all Americans,” Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement after the incident. shooting.
Attorney General Merrick Garland echoed those thoughts Thursday in response to criticism of the search and while announcing he would seek the release of the search warrant, which surfaced Friday.
“Let me address the recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors,” he said. “I will not remain silent when their integrity is unfairly attacked.”
According to the released property listing, federal agents recovered classified Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information documents from Mar-a-Lago. Trump has since claimed he declassified the documents, a claim that is both outside the scope of the warrant search and dubious given its private possession.
Presidential declassification powers derive from an executive order and are nearly absolute, but confer no ownership of declassified documents on the President.
Herald news services contributed.