A police officer, George Gonzalez, was killed outside the Pentagon, which was on lockdown after reports of shots fired at a nearby metro station in Arlington, Virginia near Washington, D.C.. The suspect, Austin William Lanz, was killed and at least one other person was injured, officials said. The incident occurred at the Metrobus platform of the Pentagon Transit Center, the Department of Defense said in a statement. Officials said just before noon that day the scene was secured, and the lockdown was lifted about 10 minutes later.
Pentagon Police Chief Woody Kusse said during a press conference the officer was “attacked” and stabbed. He said police became aware of the incident through a radio call. The FBI is leading the investigation, Kusse said. Law enforcement told The Associated Press the suspect was Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia, which was later confirmed in an FBI statement.
The FBI released a statement the day after the incident saying that Lanz shot himself with Gonzalez’s gun. At least one other person was injured, but officials did not say how the injury occurred. That person has been released from the hospital, the FBI said.
The suspect was initially reported to be on the run, and officials later said a suspect was shot and killed, according to official statements. Kusse noted some preliminary reports were inaccurate, and released very limited information at the press conference aside from saying the crime scene was secure.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gonzalez Was ‘Ambushed’ at His Post At the Transit Center & Stabbed in the Neck, Officials Said
The FBI released a statement the afternoon of Wednesday, August 4, 2021, saying that Lanz shot himself with Gonzalez’s service weapon after fatally stabbing Gonzalez. One other person suffered injuries that were not life threatening, according to the FBI.
The full statement said:
At approximately 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3, an individual exited a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center in Arlington, VA, and immediately, without provocation, attacked [PFPA] Officer George Gonzalez with a knife, severely wounding him.
A struggle ensued, in which the subject mortally wounded Officer Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer’s service weapon. Other PFPA officers engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene.
A civilian bystander, who was also injured during the incident, was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and later released. The FBI Washington Field Office responded to the incident, along with the PFPA,
[Metro Transit Police Department], and the [Arlington Virginia Police Department].
The deceased subject has been identified as Austin William Lanz, 27, most recently of Acworth, GA. The FBI continues to investigate the incident.
Kusse said there were “several casualties” in the incident during a press conference in the hours after the shooting, but did not release information on the conditions of any of the victims. Pentagon officials later confirmed the officer’s death in a statement.
“@PFPAOfficial mourns the tragic loss of a Pentagon Police Officer killed during this morning’s incident at the Pentagon,” they wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Officer’s family. Additional info on the officer will be forthcoming, following full next of kin notification.”
Dave Statter, a resident who was on the scene at the time of the shooting, wrote in a statement he heard shots fired and then saw a body on the ground, followed by people trying to resuscitate two of the patients.
“CPR being done on two people at Pentagon transit center. Heard multiple shots fired,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Pentagon Police Officer was transported to the George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Fox 5 DC. The conditions of the remaining victims was not immediately released.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency, a DOD agency, confirmed the lockdown in a statement shortly after it occurred, but did not release any details on what happened at the time. The statement said there was “an incident” at the Pentagon Transit Center and asked the public to avoid the area.
“The Pentagon currently is on lock down due to an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center. We are asking the public to please avoid the area. More information will be forthcoming,” the statement said.
Statter shared a video from the scene and reported two people were receiving life-saving efforts.
He shared a second video and wrote that two people who were shot were on the upper level of the transit center.
“This was at 10:44 am as Pentagon officers worked on the two people shot who were on the upper level at the transit center,” he wrote.
Lanz Was Killed & Gonzalez Was Pronounced Dead at the Hospital
Shortly before noon, The Pentagon Force Protection Agency said in a statement the area was secure but that the location remained an active crime scene.
“The scene of the incident is secure. It is still an active crime scene. We request that everyone stay away from the Metro rail entrance and bus platform area. Transportation at the Pentagon is diverted to Pentagon City,” the statement said.
Early reports, which officials later said were inaccurate, indicated there was a possible suspect on the run. Officials later confirmed there was only one suspect, and that he had died on the scene.
Local reporters said the area was flooded with police and other emergency responders throughout the morning.
In the minutes after it happened, police told Lucas Tomlinson, a Pentagon correspondent for Fox News, that there was a “shooting event” prompting the lockdown.
“Pentagon on lockdown after ‘shooting event’ outside building on metro bus platform: police,” he wrote on Twitter at 10:49 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
Metrorail Info wrote in a statement the Blue/Yellow Line was suspending activity between Pentagon City, Mount Vernon Square and Arlington Cemetery, and the Green Line has suspended service between the Navy Yard and Mount Vernon Square.