At a press conference, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said officers “didn’t hear anything from the individual” during the incident. He said investigators were scouring the man’s social media and analyzing his name in databases, but so far had found nothing linking him to the Capitol.
“We don’t have any information that would indicate his motivation at this point,” Manger said.
Police say the vehicle caught fire as the man got out. Mr Manger said investigators are looking into whether the man could have started the fire, as it does not appear to have been started by the collision.
The incident near one of the national government’s most important symbols comes at a nervous time, with law enforcement on high alert following an FBI raid on the Mar-a-Lago club in the former President Donald Trump last week and other events that have inflamed political tensions.
The FBI search, part of an investigation into whether Trump improperly withheld highly classified government documents, has led to angry denunciations from Republicans accusing the Biden administration of motivated overreach Politics. A few days after the search, an armed man attempted to violate an FBI field office in Cincinnati, sparking a standoff that ended when he was shot dead by law enforcement.
Security fencing is still in place near the Supreme Court – which had been the scene of intense protests on abortion rights after high court overturns Roe vs. Wade — not far from Sunday’s incident.
Manger said the man’s vehicle collided with a barricade at East Capitol and Second Streets, and he got out and started walking towards the Capitol. The man, firing a handgun indiscriminately as he crossed the first street, entered the Capitol property, where a Capitol police officer saw him shoot himself in the head, said To eat.
Capitol Police said investigators have begun investigating the man’s background; DC police have resumed the investigation into his death. Manger said investigators found addresses for the man in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and he had a criminal history for the past 10 years.
Mr Manger said law enforcement at all levels were working with each other to monitor social media and other outlets for possible threats.
“Law enforcement across the country is on high alert due to the weather,” he said.
In April 2021, a man drove his car into two Capitol Police officers standing in front of a barricade. One of the officers died; a third officer shot the man after he got out of his car with a knife, police said.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the incident happened early Saturday. It happened early Sunday. This version has been corrected.
This developing story has been updated.