A Capitol police officer is dead after the knife and car attack at the north barricade of the U.S. Capitol. Police say he was an 18 year veteran officer and member of the first responder unit named William “Billy” Evans.
“It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant,” wrote Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
Pittman, who said in a news conference, “It is with heavy heart that I come here this afternoon to shed some light on the incident that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.” The suspect entered the “north barricade” of the Capitol, she said.
Two officers were taken to the hospital. “It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce that one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said. Capitol police later identified that officer as William “Billy” Evans, a member of the Capitol police for 18 years.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 2, 2021
The second officer’s condition was not clear.
Pittman said the suspect was not on file with U.S. Capitol police so “there is no evidence at this time” that any specific members of Congress were targeted.
The suspect is Noah Green, 25, of Indiana, who identified as a Nation of Islam follower, according to MSNBC. Heavy reviewed his social media posts and they are filled with Nation of Islam ideology. You can see those posts here. Police say they don’t think the attack is terrorism-related and the motive remains under investigation and unclear.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Suspect Exited the Vehicle With a ‘Knife in Hand,’ Police Say
The suspect drove toward a barricade and then exited the vehicle with a knife in hand, Pittman said in the press conference. He then ran “aggressively toward Capitol police officers,” Pittman said. “When he exited the vehicle, the knife was clearly in his hand, and he did start to run toward the officers.”
The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers and then hit the north barricade barrier… the suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand. 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. The suspect has been pronounced deceased.
It wasn’t clear whether the officer was injured by the knife or only the car.
Police Say They Don’t Think the Attack Was Terrorism-Related
Authorities said they were still investigating the motive of the suspect.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol police after the events of January 6,” said Pittman, citing the Capitol riots in which multiple officers were injured. One officer, Brian Sicknick, died the day after the January riots. He was assaulted with bear spray, but it’s not clear whether that caused his death.
Chief Robert Contee of Washington Metropolitan Police said in the news conference that the homicide unit is taking over the investigation in connection with the “shooting death that occurred as well as the officer’s death.” He said there was not an “ongoing threat.” The suspect was shot to death by police at the scene, he said.
Contee said it doesn’t appear the suspect was known to the Capitol police. He said the latest Capitol attack doesn’t appear to be terrorism-related but police will continue to investigate.
He said they are investigating the motive, including whether hatred of law enforcement was a motivation.