A long-serving police officer was killed after a driver rammed his vehicle into officers at a security barricade in front of the United States Capitol.
The incident took place around 1 pm local time. The car, a blue sedan, reportedly crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, injuring two police officers.
The driver got out of the car with a knife and was shot by officers at the scene. Both the suspect and the two police officers were taken to the hospital, where one of the officers and the suspect died.
The officer has been named William “Billy” Evans of the Capitol Division First Aid Unit, an 18-year veteran of the force who had first joined in 2003.
Acting United States Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said: “It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from the injuries he 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 note to Officer Evans and his family and prayers. “
Biden expresses sadness
Robert J. Contee III, Acting Chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, said police were unaware of the attacker and the incident was not thought to be terror-related.
President Joe Biden had just left the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred.
In a statement, Biden and his wife said they were heartbroken to learn of the attack and expressed their condolences to the Evans family. He ordered the White House flags to be lowered to half mast.
The incident comes nearly three months after the January 6 storming of the United States Capitol building by supporters of Donald Trump, as Congress voted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Police said there was no immediate connection between the incident and the Capitol unrest that led to the deaths of four protesters and a police officer.
Law enforcement officers identified the suspect as 25-year-old Noah Green.
Investigators were doing his background checks and examining whether he had any mental health history as they tried to discern a motive. They were also working to obtain access orders to their accounts online.
Green described himself as a follower of the Nation of Islam and its founder, Louis Farrakhan, and spoke of going through a difficult time where he leaned on his faith, according to recent messages posted online that have since been eliminated. The messages were captured by the SITE group, which tracks online activity.
“To be honest, these last few years have been tough and the last few months have been tougher,” he wrote.
“I have been put through some of the greatest and most unimaginable tests of my life. I am currently unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately in search of a spiritual journey.”
Continual threat to the Capitol
Pittman confirmed that the suspect did not appear to have been on police radar. But the attack underscored that the building and campus, and the officers tasked with protecting them, remain potential targets of violence.
The fence that impeded traffic near the area where the onslaught took place was recently removed, as the Capitol had begun to open after the January 6 insurrection.
The incident came less than two weeks after Capitol Police removed an exterior fence that had cut off a wide swath of the area entirely from local and police traffic.
The tall, dark fence, parts of it covered with barbed wire until recently, was not only a nuisance to those who lived in the area, blocking the main arteries that crisscross the city, but also a symbol of the fear that many in the Capitol felt. after the violent mob besieged the Capitol.
Lawmakers said the seat of American democracy should be open to the people, even if there would always be a threat.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism