The officers were responding to a car that had breached the entrance to the city-state
The Vatican police fired at a car that had breached the entrance gate at high speed and drove into the city-state on Thursday night. The driver has been apprehended near the Apostolic Palace where Pope Francis holds official meetings.
According to the Vatican Press Office, the driver first attempted to enter the city-state in the heart of Rome through the gate of Santa Anna, but was turned down by the Swiss Guard because he did not have “relevant authorization.”
The man then maneuvered his vehicle and raced through two checkpoints. Police responded by quickly closing the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica.
A police officer fired a shot at the car, attempting to hit its front tires, but the vehicle did not stop until it reached the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. “The driver left the vehicle by himself and was detained and placed under arrest,” officials said. They added that Vatican doctors examined the 40-year-old man and found that he was in “a serious state of psychophysical alteration.”
The Vatican is protected by a small cadre of Swiss Guards and the Corps of Gendarmerie who are also responsible for the safety of the pope.