The man who killed himself after his car crashed into a barricade near the U.S. Supreme Court was troubled by current politics and was not in “his right frame of mind”, his wife said on Tuesday. grieving mother.
“We had no idea how much pain he was in,” Tamara Cunningham said of her 29-year-old son, Richard Aaron York, who rammed his car into a barricade in the nation’s capital early Sunday before shooting himself in the the head. No one else was injured in the incident.
Cunningham told NBC News on Tuesday that his son is a hard worker and loved by friends and family. He lived with and cared for his grandmother in Delaware.
“He was a good person,” Cunningham said. “He loved me very, very much.”
Having suffered multiple concussions while wrestling and playing football in high school, his family suspected he might have had CTE, but he was never diagnosed.
“He had issues in his past and he was struggling,” Cunningham said. “He struggled to try to heal himself and figure out what was going on.”
U.S. Capitol Police, who are investigating Sunday’s incident with the DC Metropolitan Police Department, said York has a criminal history, including charges of burglary, theft and assault.
Capitol police said they had no indication that York’s actions were politically motivated.
Cunningham said his son was frustrated with gas prices and discouraged with the 2020 election results, but “he wasn’t flying the Trump flag or anything like that.”
“I think kids his age…they face so many different issues: how to support a family, how to pay for anything, how to move forward? It’s so difficult for them,” Cunningham said. . York had an estranged 9-year-old son, she said.
Officials said York did not appear to be targeting members of Congress, who were on vacation.
On Sunday, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of an increase in threats against federal law enforcement officials since the raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, raising concerns that York’s actions were aimed at Capitol police.
But Cunningham said his son “probably wasn’t really in his frame of mind to know what he was really doing”.
“I think he was just very confused and lost,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.