The incident happened shortly after 4 a.m. ET, when the man drove his car into a barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street. He then got out of his car, which was “engulfed in flames,” and fired several shots into the air, Capitol Police said in a statement.
He then fatally shot himself as authorities approached him. There were no additional injuries and the man’s name was not immediately released, the statement said.
“At this time, it does not appear that the man targeted any members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear that officers fired their weapons,” the statement said. “Our investigators are looking into the man’s background.”
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is handling the death investigation, according to the statement.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger declined to release the man’s name during a news conference later Sunday, saying his family had not yet been notified.
Manger added that the man had a criminal record “from the last 10 years or so,” but that there was no information indicating a motive and “no political ideology that we’re aware of at this time.”
Capitol Police are looking at security videos of the incident to learn more about possible motives, the chief said.
Manger said no other weapons were found at the scene and the only identifiable items left in the car in question were the aerosol cans, which caught fire shortly after the driver crashed into the barricade. The D.C. Fire Department is investigating whether the man started the fire himself, the USCP chief added.
While Manger said the USCP has taken extra precautions in recent days following threats to other law enforcement agencies, he said the force will not adjust the size of its presence at the Capitol in response to the ‘Sunday incident.
“I think what we have is adequate for now,” he told reporters.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.