A Capitol Police officer was killed Friday after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife. It was the second line-of-duty death this year for a department still struggling to heal from the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Video shows the driver of the crashed car emerging with a knife in his hand and starting to run at the pair of officers, Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters. The driver stabbed one of the officers, Pittman said. Authorities shot the suspect, who died at a hospital.
“I just ask that the public continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers,” Pittman said. “This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of Jan. 6 and now the events that have occurred here today.”
Pittman did not identify the slain officer or suspect. Authorities said that there wasn’t an ongoing threat and that the attack did not appear to be related to terrorism, though the Capitol was put on lockdown as a precaution. There was also no immediate connection apparent between Friday’s crash and the Jan. 6 riot.
The crash and shooting happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol typically used by senators and staff on weekdays, though most are away from the building during the current recess. The attack occurred about 100 yards (91 meters) from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. One witness, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, said he was finishing a Good Friday service nearby when he suddenly heard three shots ring out.
It comes as the Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of armed insurrectionists loyal to former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Five people died in the Jan. 6 riot, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was among a badly outnumbered force trying to fight off insurrectionists seeking to overturn the election. Authorities installed a tall perimeter fence around the Capitol and for months restricted traffic along the roads closest to the building, but they had begun pulling back some of the emergency measures in recent weeks. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed.
Pittman said the suspect did not appear to have been on the police’s radar. But the attack underscores that the building and campus — and the officers charged with protecting them — remain potential targets for violence.
The officer who died Friday is the seventh Capitol Police member to die in the line of duty in the department’s history. Two officers, one from Capitol Police and another from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, died by suicide following the Jan. 6 attack.
The suspect had been taken to the hospital in critical condition. One of the officers who was injured was taken by police car to the hospital; the other was transported by emergency medical crews.
The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting, and staffers were told they could not enter or exit buildings. Video showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash.
Two U.S Capitol Police officers were injured Friday when a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol. One of the officers later died at a hospital.
According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the suspect exited a car with a weapon but was taken into custody. Local law enforcement told the Associated Press, the suspect was in critical condition and later died at the hospital. Both of the Capitol Police officers received emergency medical attention.
The incident happened at a vehicle checkpoint on Constitution Avenue, on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol Complex. The FBI’s Washington Field Office is responding to the incident and providing support at the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement.
The U.S. Capitol has been surrounded by a security fencing perimeter since the January 6 riot of pro-Trump supporters who attempted to prevent the counting of electoral college votes for President Joe Biden. The outer ring of fencing was taken down just this week, although an inner ring of fencing remains around the U.S. Capitol building.
There are just less than 2,200 U.S. National Guard troops providing additional security at the U.S. Capitol Complex since that riot, which left one U.S. Capitol Police officer dead and many others injured.
The Congress is in recess and most lawmakers are away.
In a tweet Friday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol. We are still learning what’s taken place. Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene.”
Authorities are piecing together what they know about the man shot dead outside the US Capitol building after he launched a fatal attack on police officers.
US Capitol Police officer William Evans died in hospital after a man rammed a car into two officers and "lunged" towards them with a knife in his hand at around 1pm local time on Friday. He was then shot dead by one of the officers.
Four senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation have named the suspect as Noah Green, a 25-year-old from Indiana, according to NBC News.
So far, there are few details about who he was but an investigation has been launched to work out the motive behind the attack.
Green is thought to be originally from Indiana.
His Facebook page shows him wearing American football kit and he was said to be unemployed and dealing with a number of issues.
He was not known to either local police or the US Capitol Police and the attack is not thought to be terror-related, authorities have said.