Man shot at and arrested after charging through Vatican gate

Man shot at and arrested at Vatican

Vatican security breach. Credit: Drop of Light/

A man was arrested this evening by officers protecting the Vatican after rushing through a gate before finally coming to a halt in a palace courtyard.

At around 8 pm on Thursday, May 18, in Rome, a 40-year-old unnamed man breached Vatican security when he drove his car into a palace courtyard, writes WYMT.

A statement on behalf of the Vatican issued reported that a car sped through a Vatican gate, and past Swiss Guards. It is understood that the driver of the vehicle is suffering from psychiatric problems.

Despite the efforts of Vatican gendarmes, who fired at the vehicle’s front tyres, the driver failed to stop and continued into the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.

Once the car had come to a halt the driver got out and was immediately seized by security officers. The driver is believed to be in his 40s and was alleged to be in a ‘serious state of psychophysical alteration.’

The incident happened after 8 p.m. at the Santa Anna gate, which is one of the major routes to the Vatican City State.

Visitors are allowed access to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums during business hours, other areas are strictly off-limits to members of the public, especially after nightfall.

Tight security surrounds the Apostolic Palace, which is guarded 24 hours a day by Swiss Guards and gendarmes who watch over certain areas.

Pope Francis’ residence is on the other side of Vatican City at the Santa Marta Hotel, at the time the incident occurred he would normally be expected to be enjoying dinner before retiring for the evening. It has not been revealed if the Pope was anywhere in the vicinity when the event occurred.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.