A car crashed into a security barrier before the driver lunged towards the police officers with a knife, leaving one police officer dead and another in hospital with injuries. The officer opened fire and the suspect was shot dead, the attack which came three months after January’s deadly Capitol riots did not appear to be terrorism-related.
Acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman said it was “ with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of out officer William Billy Evans who has been a member of the Capitol Police for 18 years and was part of the department’s first responders unit has succumbed to his injuries”.
The suspect in the attack was 25-year-old Noah Green from Indiana. In a post from mid-March on a now-deleted Facebook page, Green wrote that he had recently left his job, “ partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey”. He added he had been suffering from the “ side effects of drugs I was intaking unknowingly” and wrote extensively of his interest I the black nationalist religious organisation Nation of Islam.
Shortly after 13:00 local time (18:00 GMT) the Capitol Police alert system sent an email to lawmakers and their staff ordering them to stay away from exterior windows and doors due to a threat. Anyone outside was instructed to seek cover.
A man driving a blue sedan had rammed the car into two officers standing at the North Barricade, according to police. He left the vehicle and ran towards the offices, at least one of whom drew a weapon and shot the suspect. The officers were then transported to the hospital one in an ambulance and one in a police cruiser.
US President Joe Biden said he was “heartbroken to learn of the violent attack” and offered his “ heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss and said that he had ordered flags at the White House to be lowered to half-mast.