WASHINGTON, U.S.A — U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he was heartbroken that a U.S. Capitol police officer was killed in a violent incident at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, the White House said in a statement.
“Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds.”President Joe Biden
Reports say that the incident killed a US Capitol 18-year veteran William Evans and injured a second Friday after a vehicle rammed through security and crashed into a barrier at the Washington complex, forcing it into lockdown less than three months after a mob assault on Congress.
Evans joined the department in 2003 and served as a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit.
Capitol Police shot dead the driver after he jumped out of the car and lunged at them with a knife, Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told AFP reporters.
US media said officials had identified the attacker as Noah Green, a 25-year-old Black man from Indiana and an adherent of the black nationalist Nation of Islam movement.
Pittman said there was no immediate indication of his motivation or police file on him.
“It does not appear to be terrorism-related, but obviously we will continue to investigate,” Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee added.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I am heartbroken that Officer William F. Evans was killed in the line of duty defending the Capitol.”
“His name will go down in history for his selfless sacrifice,” McConnell added in a statement posted on Twitter.
“The Senate is praying hard for the second injured officer and for Officer Evans’s family and friends. We could not be more grateful for the professionalism and heroism of the officers who neutralized this threat at the checkpoint and for the entire USCP force, who have had to endure so much in just a few short months.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also commended Evans for his “heroic” actions Friday, calling him a “martyr for our democracy.”
“Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our Country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6,” Pelosi said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful.
“May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our Democracy. May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time.”
The other unnamed officer is recovering at a nearby hospital.
With reports from NY Post, Reuters and AFP