Noah Green, a former college football player and Nation of Islam adherent, was named as the knife-wielding, now-deceased suspect who rammed a car into a U.S. Capitol barricade, exiting with a knife and killing one Capitol police officer while injuring another.
Green’s Nation of Islam beliefs emerged through a review of his now-deleted Facebook page by Heavy, although police have not specified a motive and say they don’t believe the attack was terrorism-related. On Facebook, as recently as March 2021, the suspect expressed admiration for Elijah Muhammad, the now-deceased Nation of Islam leader who was a mentor to Malcolm X. Green referred to himself as “Noah X.”
The 25-year-old former multi-sport athlete with ties to Virginia also indicated that he was facing many difficulties in his life that were adding up in recent months, including unemployment and hunger, writing, “I haven’t had much to lean on” because he faced “fear, hunger, loss of wealth, and diminution of fruit.” In another post, he said there was “much confusion in this day and age in my perspective,” citing “the ongoing COVID crisis, unemployment, rising National Debt, division within the political sphere, rumors of war and the like.”
He wrote that “my faith is one of the only things that has been able to carry me through these times and my faith is centered on the belief of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Jesus, the Messiah, the final divine reminder in our midst.”
For a time, he wrote, the Nation of Islam teachings helped him “graduate with distinction, earn a well-paying job straight out of college, and pursue my graduate degree, despite not growing up in the best of circumstances. My ultimate goal was to learn business.” He said he wanted to improve “the communities of the black and brown” in the United States. However, he wrote that he was no longer on that path, saying, “the path has been thwarted, as Allah (God) has chosen me for other things. Throughout life I have set goals, attained them, set higher ones, and then been required to sacrifice those things.” That post was on March 17, 2021.
Britannica calls Muhammad the “leader of the black separatist religious movement known as the Nation of Islam (sometimes called Black Muslims) in the United States.” Farrakhan is a Nation of Islam leader noted for his Black separatist teachings and anti-Semitic comments.
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Nation of Islam a hate group, writing that it considers whites “devils,” and indicating, “Since its founding in 1930, the Nation of Islam (NOI) has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America. Its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
The Facebook posts reviewed by Heavy did not mention any presidents or political parties; they seemed fixated instead on Nation of Islam religious teachings and a sense of a troubled world.
The suspect was first named by MSNBC’s Pete Williams and other NBC journalists, who said he was 25 years old and from Indiana. Authorities have not yet confirmed the name.
The slain officer was named by Capitol police as 18-year veteran William “Billy” Evans. Read a tribute to him here.
“NBC’s Pete Williams reports on @MSNBC: The suspect in Capitol Police incident is a 25 year old Indiana man named Noah Green. May have lived in Virginia. On his Facebook page, he notes that he is a follower of the Nation of Islam. Suspect is now dead,” MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez wrote on Twitter. MSNBC reported that it had confirmed the page was Green’s. Heavy has also identified the Facebook page; Heavy saved photos and posts from it before it was deleted, and you can read some of them later in this article.
“BREAKING / NBC News: Multiple senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation say Noah Green, 25 year old male, from Indiana is the person who attacked the Capitol today,” wrote NBC journalist Tom Winter.
Earlier in the afternoon, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman delivered grim news: That Evans died in the attack. It’s not clear whether he was injured by Green’s car or his knife; police said the suspect used both as weapons against the law enforcement officers.
Pittman said in a news conference, “It is with a very heavy heart that I announce that one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries.” A procession for the slain officer unfolded through the Washington D.C. streets.
The latest attack happened on the afternoon of April 2, 2021, and led to a lockdown of the Capitol as debate continues to swirl in Congress about security measures at the historic building. It comes as the Capitol police have faced significant trauma since the January pro-Trump riots that injured multiple officers. Officer Brian Sicknick died shortly after being bear sprayed on January 6, and others have committed suicide. The death of Evans also comes during the first week of former police officer Derek Chauvin‘s trial in Minnesota for the death of George Floyd, which sparked ongoing anger toward law enforcement.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Green Shared Videos by Farrakhan & a ‘Certificate of Completion’ From the Nation of Islam, Writing That He Was Currently Unemployed
On March 17, Green posted a “certificate of completion” from the Nation of Islam. It was labeled “Saviors’ Day Gift 2021” and was presented to Noah X of Norfolk, Virginia for “recognition of your sacrifice in making your word bond and completing your 2021 saviors’ day gift in the amount of $1,085.”
On his Facebook page, Green shared a video of the Reverend Louis Farrakhan. It was a YouTube video called the “Crucifixion of Michael Jackson.”
According to the SPLC, the Nation of Islam’s founders “held that over 6,000 years ago, the black race lived in a paradise on earth that was destroyed by the evil wizard Yacub, who created the white ‘devil’ through a scientific process called ‘grafting.'”
They “preached of a coming apocalyptic overthrow of white domination, insisting that the dominion of evil was to end with God’s appearance on earth. … Following this, NOI predicts an epic struggle in which the Nation of Islam will play a key role in preparing and educating the Original People, who ruled the earth in peace and prosperity until … ‘blue-eyed devils’ came along to gum things up.” It adds, “The Nation of Islam teaches that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited.”
“I encourage everyone to study Revelations, study the signs of end times, study who the beast is, study who the anti-Christ is, study who the false prophet is, and study the created images during those times,” Green wrote on Facebook on March 17, 2021.
“The Minister is here to save me and the rest of humanity, even if it means facing death. Be willing to deny yourself and follow him, pick up your cross. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (his teacher, the exalted Christ) is alive and in power (I bear witness). Study the Minister, watch his lectures, study Elijah Muhammad, study the mother wheel (which is present here in America [I bear witness again]). We have a little time.”
In another post, also on March 17, Green indicated that he was having myriad difficulties in his life, which he called “some of the biggest, unimaginable tests.”
He said he was “currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately in search of a spiritual journey.”
On March 21, Green wrote, “Satan’s rule over us is up.”
He cited Elijah Muhammad’s teachings again, writing, “ALLAH SAID, ‘I have prepared for My righteous slaves as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard…”
Green shared a link to an Elijah Muhammad article titled “Lull Before The Storm.” That story starts, “I am afraid for you, that you will receive what the people before you did receive. Allah (God) is very angry with America and the tricknology that she uses on the dead to keep them dead. You are very disappointing to Allah (God) and to the original Black man who knows himself (a very few) of course.”
The article continues, “America wants to destroy God and me, and she wants to destroy you by deceiving you against following me. America lifts up all of my hypocrites and advises you to follow them, while she knows that you will be the loser.”
2. Green Once Played Football for a University & Was a Multi-Sport Athlete for a Division II School; Police Say He Lunged Toward Them With a Knife & They Shot Him Dead
Green once played football for Christopher Newport University Athletics, according to their brief online biography of him.
The website says he was a defensive back, who was 5-foot-11 and weighed 180 pounds. He was a junior at the time of the bio. His hometown was listed as Covington, Virginia, and his high school was listed as “Alleghany.”
The website says that in 2016, Green “appeared in nine games during his first season with the Captains…Made 22 tackles, including 16 solo stops…Broke up a pair of passes and recovered a fumble…Posted his finest performance against Kean when he registered four solo and two assisted tackles for a season-high 6 stops…Also picked up three solo tackles against TCNJ and Rowan…Recovered a fumble and made three stops against Frostburg State.”
Before CNU he was a “multi-sport athlete at NCAA Division II Glenville State…Played in 10 games as a defensive back for the Pioneers, making five tackles…Also a sprinter on the Glenville State track & field team, seeing action in six events…At Alleghany HS, played both ways for the Mountaineers as a running back and defensive back…Earned All-District, All-Conference, and team MVP honors in 2013…Also a member of the track team, earning All-District and All-Conference honors in two events.”
Capitol police chief Pittman said that the attack started with the suspect ramming his car into two officers.
“The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers and then hit the north barricade barrier,” she said in a press conference. “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.”
Two officers were taken to the hospital, where Evans died.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of January 6,” said Pittman.
Capitol police later wrote on Twitter, “Due to the external security threat at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol, the following road closures are in effect: Constitution Avenue between Second Street NE and First Street NW. First Street between Constitution Avenue NE and Independence Avenue SE.”
3. The University Bio Says That Green Wished He Could Have Met Malcolm X, Majored in Business & Has 9 Siblings
The CNU biography gives some details about Green, including that he wished he could have met Malcolm X.
“Personal — Noah Ricardo Green was born in Fairlea, W. Va…Son of Mazie and Newotn Green…Has seven sisters and two brothers…Favorite sports personality is Russell Westbrook…Dream vacation is a trip to Jamaica…Person in history he’d most like to meet is Malcolm X…Most impressive person met is his grandmother…Favorite movie is Spiderman…Majoring in Business,” the brief biography reads.
Chief Robert Contee of Washington Metropolitan Police said in the afternoon press 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.”
Capitol Police initially wrote on Twitter: “CRITICAL INCIDENT: USCP is responding to the North Barricade vehicle access point along Independence Avenue for reports someone rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers. A suspect is in custody. Both officers are injured. All three have been transported to the hospital.”
4. Green Wasn’t Known to Capitol Police & Authorities Don’t Believe the Attack Was ‘Terrorism-Related’
Contee said it doesn’t appear Green was known to the Capitol police previously. He said it doesn’t appear that the attack was terrorism-related, but he said police will continue to investigate.
MSNBC reported that police don’t believe Green was tied to a larger plot, at least preliminarily.
In addition to his posts about the Nation of Islam, Green also posted an episode of a Facebook sports talk show called “For the Record,” captioned, “five black female coaches sit down to talk about a real issue: The racial divide in NCAA coaching.”
The incident made for a frightening day at the U.S. Capitol as reports broke out first of gunfire, then of the car-ramming and then the officer’s death.
It was a traumatic day for Congresspeople still recovering from the effects of the January 6 riots. The House and Senate are on recess this week, but lawmakers shared messages about the attack on social media.
Representative Ro Khanna wrote on Twitter, “I’m safe and locked down here at the Capitol. Thankful today & every day for the US Capitol Police.” In a later post he wrote, “When I was elected to Congress, I never once thought it would be a dangerous place.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that Evans is “a martyr for our democracy” and called his death “tragic & heroic.”
Senator Mitch McConnell wrote on Twitter that he was “heartbroken” and asked his followers to “pray for healing for the surviving officer, comfort for Officer Evans’s family, and for all the officers and families of the United States Capitol Police.”
Representative Ro Khanna wrote on Twitter, “I’m safe and locked down here at the Capitol. Thankful today & every day for the US Capitol Police.”
5. Police Shot Green Dead at the Scene
Pittman said officers shot Green to death at the scene. That explained early reports of gunfire.
NBC also reported: “A spokesperson for the Washington D.C. Fire and EMS Department says at least one person has been shot near the U.S. Capitol.” That person turned out to be Noah Green.
You can see a roundup of videos from the scene here.
A fence was erected around the Capitol building after the January 6 attack, but USA Today reported that it remains “contentious.”