A Capitol Police officer was killed and another seriously injured Friday next to Congress headquarters in Washington, DC after a person hit them with a vehicle. The attacker got out of the car and threatened other officers with a knife. He was shot and killed when he was taken to hospital.
The officer who passed away was William Evans, who had been a member of the Capitol Police for 18 years, according to the head of that police force, Yogananda Pittman, in a press release. Evans was part of the first responder team.
“It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from injuries sustained following an attack on the North Barricade by a lone assailant. Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years. He began his service with the USCP on March 7, 2003 and was a member of the Capitol Division First Aid Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers. “
Four high-ranking officers who have been briefed on the investigation said the suspect is Noah Green, a 25-year-old man from Indiana, who died of his injuries after being shot by police.
The Capitol Police Chief said at a press conference that the attacker He had previous offenses but so far no ties to foreign terrorist groups had been found. The investigation is in its preliminary phase.
The attack occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at the North Barricade vehicle access point along Independence Avenue. The Capitol, home to the House of Representatives and the Senate, was closed under a state of alert for more than two hours. Congress is in recess this week, so many lawmakers had returned to their states.
A heavy police presence quickly descended on the area. Multiple ambulances arrived as well as several helicopters. First responders removed two stretchers from an ambulance and a helicopter landed on the east front of the Capitol. A perimeter of several streets around has been closed to the public and the press.
A message sent to the Congressional offices read, “Due to an external security threat,” “No entry or exit is allowed at this time. You can move inside buildings, but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek shelter. “
Security on Capitol Hill has been beefed up with additional security measures and members of the National Guard since a crowd of Trump supporters stormed the compound during the Jan.6 electoral vote count ahead of a joint session of Congress.
President Joe Biden, who is at Camp David with his family this weekend, has been briefed on the latest details of the situation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Biden said in a statement to the press: “Jill and I were heartbroken when we learned of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the Capitol grounds that killed Officer William Evans … and left a comrade fighting for his life. We send our deepest condolences to Officer Evans’s family and to all who mourn his loss. We know how difficult this moment has been for the Capitol, for all who work there and for those who protect him. ” .
He added: “I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, National Guard Immediate Response Forces and others who responded quickly to this attack. As we mourn the loss of another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have directed that the White House flags are lowered to half mast. ” That order was also extended to all federal public buildings, military and naval bases, and embassies abroad until April 6.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also ordered that the flags will be waved at half mast on Capitol Hill, according to his spokesman Drew Hammill.
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his concern in a message on Twitter: “I am praying for the Capitol police officers who were attacked. We are still learning what has happened. I appreciate you to all USCP officers and first responders on the scene. “