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Motorist Crashes Into U.S. Capitol Barricade, Sets Car Ablaze And Starts Shooting

Washington, DC – A Delaware man crashed his car into a barricade around the U.S. Capitol complex on early on Sunday morning and then set his vehicle ablaze before he began firing shots in the air and ultimately shot himself.

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said the incident occurred just after 4 a.m. on Aug. 14 at a permanent barricade located at East Capitol and Second Street, between the U.S. Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, WTOP reported.

Police said 29-year-old Richard A. York III crashed his car into the concrete barricade.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said investigators believed that York set his car on fire after the crash, WTOP reported.

“It does appear that it was not the collision with the barricade that caused the fire,” Chief Manger said. “It appears that the individual may have started the fire himself as he was getting out of the car.”

The police chief said York began walking toward the U.S. Capitol building while firing shots from a handgun “indiscriminately,” WTOP reported.

Officers in the area heard gunfire and rushed to the area.

Chief Manger said York shot himself as officers approached, according to WTOP.

The police chief said that nobody else was hurt during the incident and that none of his officers had discharged their weapons.

Police are investigating York’s motive and background, WTOP reported.

“The subject has a criminal history over the past 10 years or so, but nothing that, at this point, would link him to anything here at the Capitol,” Chief Manger told reporters at a press briefing on Sunday morning.

Pennsylvania court records showed that York had been arrested drug charges on drug charges in the past, and over the past 11 years, he had been sentenced for simple assault, terroristic threats, burglary, shoplifting, and property damage crimes, WTOP reported.

Police said there was no indication that York was targeting members of Congress.

Congress is on summer recess, WTOP reported.

“It is still not clear why he chose to drive to the Capitol Complex,” USCP said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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