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Man takes his own life after crashing car into U.S. Capitol barrier

Salon logo Salon 8/14/2022 Kelly McClure

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The US Capitol building is seen as abortion rights activists protest in Washington, DC, on June 26, 2022, two days after the US Supreme Court scrapped half-century constitutional protections for the procedure. SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images

Shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, a yet to be identified man drove a car into a barrier on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. According to CBS News the man's car erupted into flames following the crash at which point he exited the vehicle, fired several shots into the air, and then turned the gun on himself, ending his life.

"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," Capitol Police said. Although he has not yet been identified, "investigators are looking into the man's background," according to the provided statement.

CBS points out in their coverage of the incident that Capitol security has increased following the Jan. 6 riots, with other events similar to today's taking place near the building. In April 2021, a man later identified as 25-year-old Noah R. Green ran his car through a security barricade killing one Capitol officer and injuring another. 

"Important to note that Capitol Police are coming off of another exhausting few months but have been muscling through it," says PBS NewsHour Correspondent Lisa Desjardins. "Between SCOTUS threats, Congressional threats and long sessions in both chambers, many had time off canceled and faced repeated long shifts."

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"USCP is not saying here how far the man got after hitting the barricade," says Desjardins on Twitter. "But says officers were approaching him when he *shot* himself. They are investigating and are not yet commenting on the man's identity or if it is known."

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