WASHINGTON — A few gunshots were fired from a vehicle speeding by the home of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Greenville, Del., on Saturday night, according to federal law enforcement officials.
The vice president and his wife, who were staying at the home over the weekend, were not there at the time of the shooting, which occurred around 8:25 p.m., the officials said.
Secret Service agents and the local police were unable to catch the vehicle as it raced away.
It was not clear whether any of the shots hit Mr. Biden’s residence, or even if they were aimed directly at the home, which sits roughly 300 yards back from the road, the officials said.
Secret Service agents canvassed the home on Sunday morning for bullet marks. There was no immediate explanation for a possible motive.
“The Secret Service is working closely with the New Castle County police on investigating this incident,” said Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service.
The F.B.I.’s Baltimore field office also is assisting with the investigation.
Less than an hour after the shooting, a man in a vehicle tried to drive past a police officer who was securing the area around the vice president’s home. The man resisted arrest, officials said, and was taken into custody and questioned.
President Obama and Mr. Biden were briefed on the episode Saturday night, the officials said.
The shooting occurred as the Secret Service was working to rehabilitate its image after a string of embarrassing scandals.
The agency’s director, Julia Pierson, resigned in October, as the agency came under withering criticism after a man with a knife climbed over the fence in front of the White House and managed to make his way through the North Portico door.
Joseph P. Clancy, a former head of the president’s protective detail who took over from Ms. Pierson and is the agency’s interim director, would like to become the permanent director.
But it is unclear whether Mr. Obama and Jeh Johnson, the secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, want an insider to continue to run the agency.
A possible outsider candidate could be Sean Joyce, a former deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who retired in 2013. Mr. Joyce, a former S.W.A.T. team leader, is believed by some to be the type of disciplinarian who could change the Secret Service’s culture.