In front of the US Capitol in Washington, a man broke through the barricades in front of the seat of parliament with his car, shot in the air and then committed suicide with a gun.
The incident happened shortly after 4 a.m. local time (10 a.m. CEST) on Sunday, the Capitol Police said. She did not comment on the man’s identity or possible motives.
According to the police statement, the man drove his car into the barricades and then got out while his car burst into flames. Then he fired several shots in the air. When the police then approached him, he shot himself. Otherwise no one was injured.
Members of the US Congress are currently on summer recess. The attack was apparently not aimed at members of parliament or senators, the police said. Not far from the barricades is also the seat of the US Supreme Court.
The incident happened in a tense situation. A search by the US federal police FBI in the property of ex-President Donald Trump has caused waves in right-wing circles. Several senior politicians from Trump’s Republican Party to former Vice President Mike Pence accused the Justice Department of a political motive.
According to the search warrant, the mission in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, was to confiscate documents classified as “top secret”. According to a list of documents confiscated, released by the judge in charge, these included documents classified as “top secret”, “secret” and “confidential”. US Presidents are required to hand over all documents to the National Archives upon leaving office.
There were threats of violence against the FBI in online forums because of the search on Trump’s property. Against this background, an incident on Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio, caused a stir. According to the FBI, a man had tried to break into a federal police office there. After a chase, the man then pointed his gun at the police officers, who then shot him.