Washington awoke Saturday rocked by another deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, an incident that left a police officer and suspect dead and evoked memories of January 6, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt. to annul the elections.
Friday’s incident was on a much smaller scale, but it still sowed confusion and fear. In the early afternoon, a man rammed his vehicle into two Capitol police officers who were in front of a barricade. Upon exiting the vehicle, the suspect pounced on the officers with a knife. They shot him dead.
Yogananda Pittman, Acting Capitol Police Chief, told reporters that two officers were taken to hospital after the attack. One, William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the department and father of two young children, died of his injuries.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Evans a “martyr for democracy.”
“America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol police heroes,” Pelosi said in a statement. “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 deeply grateful.”
An Evans neighbor, Bob Epskamp, told the Washington Post he was a “loving and caring father.” After the uprising on Capitol Hill, he said, he told Evans that he “was glad he was lucky enough not to be on duty that day.”
Police did not immediately name the suspect and the motive remains unclear. However, various media outlets named the attacker as Noah Green, who was 25 years old and from Indiana.
Friends and family told the media that they had been concerned about Green’s mental health in recent years, especially after he posted disturbing comments on social media.
Green’s Facebook profile was public until it was suspended on Friday. Two weeks before the attack on Capitol Hill, he reportedly wrote: “These last few years have been tough and these last few months have been tougher.
“I have been put through some of the biggest and most unimaginable tests of my life. I am currently unemployed after leaving my job partly due to affiliations, but ultimately in search of a spiritual journey. “
Green reportedly grew up in Virginia and played soccer in college. Andre Toran, a former teammate, said USA Today He was a “very quiet guy” who occasionally joked around with the team, but mostly only smiled when listening to conversations.
“I know people say this all the time, but the guy I played with is not the same person who did this,” Toran said.
According to other friends and family, Green became paranoid after alleging that his former roommates had drugged him with Xanax. The experience, he claimed, made him addicted to the drug and caused withdrawal symptoms.
Toran showed USA Today a Facebook post that he said Green wrote during the pandemic, in which Green said withdrawal symptoms included seizures, poor appetite, paranoia, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Green’s brother told the Washington Post Green moved after college, going from Virginia to Indianapolis and even to Botswana. Green moved in with his brother two weeks before he attacked the Capitol, his brother said, and in the hours before the attack he sent a text message that read: “I’m sorry, but I’m going to move in and be homeless. . Thank you for all you have done. I admired you when I was a child. You inspired me a lot. “
On his Facebook page, Green claimed to be a follower of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, and said that his faith in Farrakhan and the extremist group was “one of the only things that has been able to help me in these times. ”.
The Nation of Islam is designated as a Southern Poverty Law Center hate group, for its “deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric from its leader.”
On Friday, Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said the attack did not appear to be related to terrorism, although police were still investigating.
It’s only been three months since the rape of the Capitol on January 6 by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters. Then lawmakers, staff members, and journalists were forced into hiding while rioters roamed the building, allegedly looking for politicians to kidnap and even kill, until police were able to clear the building.
Five people, including a United States Capitol police officer who confronted the rioters, were killed. At least 350 people have been loaded in connection with the attack.
Security around the Capitol was greatly increased. A tall fence now surrounds the building and thousands of members of the National Guard have stationed themselves in the area. The National Guard plans to stay on Capitol Hill until May at the request of the United States Capitol Police, whose small force struggled to handle the January riots.
While Friday’s attack was much smaller in scale, it renewed concerns that the Capitol is a target of violence.
Congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, was on Capitol Hill Friday even though most representatives and senators were out for Easter.
He He said MSNBC: “The question we have to ask ourselves is what is happening in our country, where we have people entering, trying to use violence and knives and weapons. [at] the heart of American democracy. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism