A police officer and the suspect have died from injuries sustained in a vehicle attack outside the Capitol, and another officer is being treated at the hospital.
WASHINGTON (CN) — A car rammed into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and hit two police officers Friday afternoon, killing one, authorities said.
U.S. Capitol Police said the complex was placed on lockdown and a suspect had been detained. The suspect and two officers were all transported to a hospital for treatment. One officer, William “Billy” Evans, and the suspect, Noah Green, died as a result of their injuries, police confirmed at an afternoon press conference.
The incident occurred outside the north entrance to the Capitol along Constitution Avenue, where many lawmakers make their way to Congress.
Both the House and Senate are in recess for the Easter holiday, but support staff remain on campus to tend to the building and the grounds. Some are still restoring damage from the Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, repairing windows and other entryways.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said at the press conference that the suspect did not respond to officers’ commands after hitting the barricade and charged towards them with a knife before being shot.
“Our officers then engaged that suspect, he did not respond to verbal commands, the suspect did start lunging toward U.S. Capitol Police officers, at which time U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect,” Pittman said.
With a heavy heart, Pittman confirmed that one of the officers had died from injuries he sustained during the attack. The officer’s next of kin have yet to be notified about his death and more information on who was involved in the incident has yet to be released.
“I just ask that the public continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers,” Pittman said. “This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of Jan. 6 and now the events that have occurred here today.”
Acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said officers responded a little after 1 p.m. to reports of an officer-involved shooting at the Capitol. Metro PD’s internal affairs and homicide units will take over investigations into both deaths.
“There’s not a lot of information we can release to the public at this time,” Contee said.
The threat did not appear to be ongoing, Contee said, adding that police were in the early stages of investigating the incident and working to understand a motive.
Pittman said the suspect was not on a U.S. Capitol Police watch list as being threatening towards a specific member of Congress and the incident does not appear to be related to terrorism.
“We do not have the suspect on file with U.S. Capitol Police so there’s no indication at this time that there’s any nexus to any member of Congress,” Pittman said.
Staffers were sent a warning about the security threat and were notified the Capitol and surrounding federal office buildings would be placed on lockdown. The message warned people in the Capitol to avoid exterior windows and warned those outside and on campus to seek shelter indoors.
Reporters inside the Capitol noted a varying array of law enforcement responded to the incident, including the lingering National Guard members who remain in Washington after the Jan. 6, along with U.S. Park Police — who landed a helicopter just outside the Capitol during their response. National Guard troops wielding riot shields stood behind steel barriers more than five blocks away from where the incident occurred.