A man has died after being shot by Secret Service agents while attempting to force his way into the home of the Peruvian ambassador to the United States in Washington DC. Little is known about the assailant, who confronted agents with a large metal stake. Tasers failed to stop the man, so the agents opened fire. The man died at the scene, but DC police and the Peruvian Embassy have confirmed that no one else was harmed.
Secret Service kills man armed with a metal stake
Agents were called to the scene at 8:00 AM on April 20 after receiving reports of a man attempting to break into the house by smashing several windows.
The Secret Service, in addition to protecting the president and the White House, is responsible for ensuring the safety of foreign embassies and diplomats.
The house, located in an affluent neighborhood in the northwest of the city, is currently occupied by Peruvian Ambassador Hugo de Zela Martínez, along with his family and staff.
The ambassador was home at the time of the incident and the Peruvian Embassy confirmed on Twitter that the intruder had broken into the residence and caused some property damage.
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III has said that there are no current plans to increase security in the area or at other official residences.
Contee believes that the break-in was an isolated incident rather than part of any broader threat to foreign diplomats in the DC area.
Ambassador and family safe
In fact, there is no indication that the suspect was even aware that he had targeted the official residence of an ambassador.
The Secret Service will be handling the investigation; so far they have released no information about the identity of the suspect and Contee could only report that he appeared to be in his late 20s or 30s.
Hugo de Zela Martínez has been Peru’s ambassador to the United States since 2019. He has previously served as Peru’s ambassador to Argentina and Brazil.
The fact that he does not appear to have been intentionally targeted means that the incident highlights urban crime in America rather than exposing a threat to foreign dignitaries.
The ambassador might not be especially comforted by Contee’s belief that his residence was attacked at random; diplomats may not be specifically in danger, but the neighborhood as a whole is if this incident resulted from a general surge in crime.
The Secret Service is responsible for protecting foreign diplomats and embassies, but agents cannot be everywhere at once to protect them from being randomly targeted if crime continues to get worse.