World news. It was a terrible morning at the Vatican as a car forced entry at the check point and crashed into the Pope’s city. Shouts and gunfire followed the intrusion and a man, suspected to have psychiatric problems, managed to speed past Swiss Guards into the Vatican before being apprehended by police.
What happened at the Vatican shooting?
At the entrance to the Vatican City State, in Rome, around 8 pm on May 18, a car with a man driving forced his was into Sant’Anna entering the Vatican. The unidentified man was denied access by the Swiss Guard Corps because he lacked the proper authorisation.
The man left the entrance but, after manoeuvring himself out, he returned at high speed, forcing his way past the two checkpoints, the Swiss Guard and the Vatican City State Gendarmerie Corps.
In an attempt to stop the car, the inspector of the Gendarmerie , guarding the gate, fired a pistol shot. His intention was to hit the front tires of the vehicle to stall it, but he couldn’t do it and grabbed the left front fender.
The man therefore forced entry and continued his mad rush inside the Vatican. The alarm code was immediately broadcast via radio. The guardhouse immediately closed the Porta della Zecca which allows access to the rear of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican gardens and Piazza Santa Marta.
At that point the car had already reached the Cortile di San Damaso – a central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace – where previous popes lived and where Francis still holds official meetings.
Vatican, car forces entry: fear and gunfire. Who’s behind the wheel?
The worst began to dawn and fear began to reign. Soon after forcing entry, the driver got out of the car independently and got caught, in a few seconds he was blocked and placed under arrest by the Gendarmerie Corps.
According to reports by Rai, it is known that the man is about 40 years old and he was immediately subjected to a visit by the doctors of the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of the Vatican City State. The specialists found a serious state of psychophysical alteration.
Currently the person is in a prison cell of the Gendarmerie barracks.
Where was the pope during the attack?
It wasn’t clear if Pope Francis was anywhere near the incident, which occurred after 8pm at the Santa Anna gate, one of the main entrances to the Vatican City State in the heart of Rome.
Francis lives on the other side of Vatican City at the Santa Marta hotel, where at that hour he would normally be having dinner and retiring to his room.
According to Metro, a statement from the Vatican stated that as soon as the gendarmes sounded the alarm of an incursion, the main gate blocking access to the piazza in front of Francis’ hotel was shut.