Car rushes Vatican gate, fired on

Photo: AP (Fair Use)

According to the Holy See, a car driven by an individual exhibiting signs of psychiatric issues forcefully entered a Vatican gate on Thursday evening and evaded Swiss Guards as it sped into a courtyard of a palace.

The Vatican press office released a statement late on Thursday, stating that Vatican gendarmes fired a shot at the front tires of the speeding car as it breached the gate, but the vehicle managed to continue its course, ABC News reported.

Upon reaching the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, the driver exited the car and was promptly apprehended by Vatican gendarmes. Described as approximately 40 years old, the driver was in a state of “serious psychophysical alteration.” He is currently being held in the Vatican barracks.

It remains unclear whether Pope Francis was in proximity to the incident, which took place after 8 p.m. at the Santa Anna gate, one of the primary entrances to Vatican City State in the heart of Rome.

Typically, at that time, Francis would be residing on the other side of Vatican City at the Santa Marta hotel, where he would likely be having dinner and retiring to his room.

The Vatican’s statement explained that as soon as the gendarmes raised the alarm about the breach, the main gate blocking access to the piazza in front of Francis’ hotel was closed.

This incident represents a rare occurrence of unauthorized entry into the city-state, much of which is restricted to the general public, particularly during nighttime hours.

Written by staff