Attacker kills policeman at US Capitol – stopped with gunshots
Again, the Capitol is the target of an attack: a driver in Washington rams police officers and then wants to wreak havoc with a knife. He is stopped and killed. A policeman dies.
KLess than three months after the US Capitol was violently stormed by an angry mob, an attacker killed a policeman and seriously injured another in front of the heavily guarded parliament building. The man drove into the two police officers on a driveway to the headquarters of Congress in the capital Washington and then rammed a barrier.
The attacker immediately attacked other officers with a knife and ignored warnings, which is why the security forces stopped him with shooting, as the police said on Friday (local time). A little later the perpetrator was pronounced dead.
The police chief of the US capital Washington, Robert Contee, said that according to initial findings, the act did not appear to have had a terrorist background. There is no evidence that a further threat to Congress or residents can be assumed.
The Capitol, the seat of the two chambers of the US Congress, was temporarily cordoned off because of the incident. The congress did not have a session day, however, so there should hardly have been any senators or members of parliament in the complex.
The flags in the United States were hoisted at half-mast until Tuesday by order of President Joe Biden as a sign of respect for the efforts and victims of the Capitol Police. Biden spoke of a harrowing incident and said that he was kept informed of the status of the investigation. He offered his condolences to the victim’s family. The chairwoman of the House of Representatives, the Democrat Nancy Pelosi, described the killed official as a “martyr for our democracy”.
The policeman, William Evans, died from his injuries shortly after the attack. He had been in the service of the Capitol Police for 18 years, as their managing director explained.
According to the police, the crime scene at the so-called northern barrier of the site will remain closed for the time being due to the ongoing investigations. Pictures there showed a blue middle class car that had driven head-on against a metal barrier anchored in the ground with the words “STOP” on it.
The complex is still heavily guarded
Because of the attack by angry supporters of the elected ex-President Donald Trump on January 6, the entire complex at the seat of the US Parliament is still heavily guarded. Last week, however, the security measures were reduced a little. An outer fence that shielded the area around the congress headquarters was dismantled. Streets that were within this circle and that were cordoned off were reopened.
However, soldiers of the National Guard are still supporting the security forces. The Capitol Police stressed last week that they are ready at any time to restart security measures immediately if necessary.
“It’s really sad because I believed that once the barriers were removed, we would return to a certain normalcy. But that just shows how high the risk still is, “Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna told CNN. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “Events like this remind us of the courage and skill of security professionals and our shared commitment to defend this great country and its institutions.”
After the violent storming of Congress in January, the Capitol Police came under fire because the parliament’s security forces were unable to repel the attack. The police chief resigned. At least five people were killed in the riots, including a Capitol policeman. The FBI classifies the storming of the building as domestic terrorism.
On the day of the attack, Congress was supposed to ratify the election victory of US President Biden. The then still ruling incumbent Trump, who did not want to admit his defeat, had spurred his supporters on with a combative speech in front of the White House immediately before the storming of the Capitol. The Democrats blamed him for the events and successfully initiated impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives, which, however, failed in the Senate due to the necessary two-thirds majority.