Capitol Police Officer Killed, A Second Injured In Vehicle Attack
WASHINGTON – A Capitol Police officer was killed and a second officer was injured after being rammed by a vehicle near the heavily guarded northern entrance to the Capitol complexon Friday. The suspect, identified as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana, was shot and killed at the scene.
According to Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, Green “exited the vehicle with a knife in hand” and lunged at the officers after crashing into the barrier.
The slain officer was later identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the department. He was a member of the Capitol Division’s first responders unit.
Pittman did not provide an update on the condition of the other officer. A statement from the U.S Capitol Police Union said both officers were “severely injured.”
“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 said. “So I ask that you keep our U.S. Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers.”
In a statement, the U.S. Capitol Police Union said: This is a tragic situation that adds to a very difficult year for our membership … Our members are some of the most well trained and professional officers in the country and this is a catastrophic example of the risks they take every day, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our Capitol, its occupants, and the seat of democracy itself.”
The incident unfolded shortly after 1 p.m. in Washington, when an unidentified man driving a dark blue car rammed a security barricade on the Senate side of the Capitol.
The incident immediately sent the Capitol into lockdown, with police instructing staff to remain indoors, away from doors and windows, and to “seek cover” if they were outside of the building.
Later, images and video posted to social media appeared to show emergency workers treating an individual at the Capitol parking lot entrance.
The day’s strange and tragic turn of events is the most serious security incident at the complex since the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the building that injured dozens and killed five people. Fencing installed in the wake of that siege was removed only recently.
The security checkpoint is typically used by senators and staff on weekdays, but today was a relatively quiet day at the Capitol with Congress in recess.
In addition to U.S. Capitol Police officers, D.C. Metro Police and a National Guard quick-response team also responded to the scene.
Immediately after the incident, one of the injured officers was taken by police car to the hospital; the other was medivacked out by emergency medical crews, officials said.
Due to the nature of the external security threat to the U.S. Capitol, law enforcement officers shut down Constitution Avenue between Second Street NE and First Street NW. and First Street between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ordered flags flown at half-staff following the incident.
In a statement she said, “Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy.
“Members of Congress, staff and Capitol workers, and indeed all Americans are united in appreciation for the courage of the U.S. Capitol Police. Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our Country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful,” she continued. “Congress stands ready to assist law enforcement with a swift and comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack.
“May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our Democracy. May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time,” Pelosi said.
Also commenting on the day’s events was House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., who said he was heartbroken to learn that one of the U.S. Capitol Police officers involved in today’s incident had been killed in the line of duty.
“The officer’s family will be in my thoughts, and I pray for the health and well-being of the other officer injured,” Hoyer said. “They and their fellow officers displayed great courage and professionalism in protecting the Capitol and those inside, quickly taking control of the situation and neutralizing the threat. While many details of today’s incident are not yet known, what we do know with certainty is that the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to defend the Capitol complex and the institutions of our democracy have the gratitude of the nation they serve.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said “Once again, brave officers of the United States Capitol Police have been violently attacked while simply doing their job.
“I am heartbroken that Officer William F. Evans was killed in the line of duty defending the Capitol. His name will go down in history for his selfless sacrifice,” McConnell said.
“The Senate is praying hard for the second injured officer and for Officer Evans’s family and friends. 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 USCP force, who have had to endure so much in just a few short months. And we thank all the other first responders who quickly arrived on the scene,” he continued. “Senators are currently in their home states, but we are in close touch with law enforcement as we continue to learn more about this terrible incident.
“On this Good Friday, I would ask that all Americans pray for healing for the surviving injured officer, for comfort for Officer Evans’s family, and for all the officers and families of our Capitol Police,” McConnell concluded.
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