William “Billy” Evans, a long-time veteran first responder, was named as the Capitol police officer who died in the attack at a north barricade.
“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.
He was one of two officers wounded in the attack by a knife-wielding suspect, who has been identified by MSNBC as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana. Authorities have not yet released the name of the suspect, who is dead.
The second officer’s condition is not clear. The second officer’s name was not released.
President Joe Biden ordered flags be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings in honor of the two officers.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,” the president said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Evans Was Part of a First Responders Unit
Evans was a member of the responders unit, according to police. He “was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” police wrote.
The suspect was shot by police and is also dead.
“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,” the chief said. “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. “It is with a very heavy heart that I announce that one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said.
2. A Procession for Evans Unfolded Through Washington D.C. Streets
A moving procession unfolded throughout the streets.
There were also reports of gunfire outside the U.S. Capitol on April 2, 2021, but it later emerged that the suspect was the only person shot. The Capitol complex went into lockdown.
The Capitol Police 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.”
3. Evans Was an 18-Year Veteran of the Capitol Police Force
The slain officer had worked on the force for years.
Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in her statement that Officer Evans “had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years. He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003.”
4. The Latest Death Comes After the Capitol Riots Left Multiple Officers Injured
Evans’ death come after Capitol riots left multiple officers with the Capitol Police injured. Officer Brian Sicknick lost his life. He was bear sprayed by rioters, who were charged with assaulting him, but it’s not clear whether that caused his death.
It’s not clear whether the April 2 shooting incident has anything to do with the past rioting.
A fence was erected around the Capitol building after the January 6 attack, but USA Today reported that it remained “contentious.”
5. The Suspect Was a Follower of the Nation of Islam, a Network Reported, But Terrorism Is Not Suspected
Police said in a news conference that they didn’t believe that terrorism was the cause of the attack.
MNSBC reported that the suspect was a follower of the Nation of Islam, according to his now deleted Facebook page.
Police said they were still investigating the motive, though, including whether it was motivated by animus toward law enforcement.