Capitol Police Officer William F. Evans was killed and a second officer was injured after being rammed by a vehicle on the closely guarded northern entrance to the U.S. Capitol on Friday, the appearing chief of the Capitol Police stated. The suspect was shot and killed.
Officer Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force who served with the division’s first responder unit and was recognized to mates as Billy, was injured in the violent confrontation and died shortly after, the chief, Yogananda D. Pittman, stated in a assertion.
“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Ms. Pittman stated at a information convention close to the scene of the assault, her voice choked with emotion. “I just ask that the public continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to as Officer Evans “a martyr for our democracy.”
The different officer was in “stable and nonthreatening condition,” the Capitol Police stated on Friday night.
After ramming the officers, the attacker “exited the vehicle with a knife in hand” and started “lunging” on the officers, Ms. Pittman stated on the information convention. The suspect was subsequently recognized by a senior legislation enforcement official as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana.
Investigators don’t but know the motive for the assault, however don’t consider it was “terrorism-related” at the moment, Chief Robert J. Contee III of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department instructed reporters.
Ms. Pittman didn’t determine Mr. Green, however stated that the motive force had not been beforehand recognized to her company. On his Facebook web page, which has since been taken down, Mr. Green described himself as a supporter of the Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan and stated he had been struggling via the previous few months of the pandemic.
The assault was probably the most severe safety menace on the Capitol because the lethal Jan. 6 riot that injured dozens and killed 5 individuals. A National Guard quick-response group, which was deployed after the riot, and the native police have been available on the already closely fortified Capitol advanced.
President Biden ordered flags on the White House to be flown at half-staff in honor of Officer Evans, and Ms. Pelosi ordered the identical on the Capitol.
Mr. Biden, who had left Washington to go to Camp David earlier than the assault, stated in a assertion that he was receiving “ongoing briefings” from his homeland safety adviser.
“Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police and left a fellow officer fighting for his life,” Mr. Biden stated. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’s family and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there and those who protect it.”
In latest days, some Republicans, citing the diminished menace of violence on the Capitol, had referred to as for scaling again some safety measures. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican chief, complained final month that the cordon of fencing and armed troopers have been “overdone,” and said the militarized atmosphere reminded him of his “last visit to Kabul” in 2015.
On Friday, he praised the Capitol Police.
“Once again, brave officers of the United States Capitol Police have been violently attacked while simply doing their job,” Mr. McConnell stated in a assertion, including, “We could not be more grateful for the professionalism and heroism of the officers who neutralized this threat at the checkpoint and for the entire U.S.C.P. force, who have had to endure so much in just a few short months.”
The Capitol went into lockdown round 1 p.m. on what had been a quiet, sunny Friday, with the police instructing employees to stay inside, away from doorways and home windows, and to “seek cover” in the event that they have been outdoors, citing an unspecified “external security threat.”
Images posted on social media appeared to indicate emergency staff treating somebody on the driveway of the Capitol. A blue automotive could possibly be seen rammed into a safety barricade, with the motive force’s facet door and trunk open.
One member of the information media, Jake Sherman, posted a video displaying a helicopter touchdown close to the constructing, hovering a few ft off the bottom and then careening via timber as police automobiles drove throughout the plaza.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, the Capitol Police stated that the menace to the constructing had been “neutralized.”
With Congress in recess, most lawmakers weren’t on Capitol Hill. But many aides have been in and across the Capitol working or receiving coronavirus vaccinations.
The assault got here greater than a week after officers eliminated a perimeter fence topped with razor wire that had been positioned across the advanced after the Jan. 6 riot, and reopened the streets surrounding the Capitol to vehicle site visitors.
They additionally introduced that they would scale back the variety of National Guard troops on Capitol Hill to 2,200 while extending their deployment until May 23.
An inner-perimeter fence across the precise Capitol constructing stays in place whereas the police and lawmakers proceed to hash out a long-term safety plan.
Ben Decker contributed reporting.