Suspect Rams Car Into US Capitol Barricade, Killing 1 Officer


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WASHINGTON - One U.S. Capitol Police officer was killed and another was injured Friday when a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol. The driver later died in an encounter with police.

According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the suspect, identified as Noah Green, 25, exited a car with a knife in his hand and lunged at officers.

"U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon him. At this time, the suspect has been pronounced dead," acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters.

Police were looking into Green's background for clues to a motive.

Police identified the officer who died as William "Billy" Evans. He was a member of the first responders unit and an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police.

Flags lowered

"Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life," President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Biden, who was briefed on the attack, is spending the Easter weekend at Camp David. He ordered flags at the White House to be flown at half-staff.

The incident happened at a vehicle checkpoint on Constitution Avenue, on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol Complex.

The attack "does not appear to be terrorism-related, but obviously we will continue to investigate," Robert Contee, the acting chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters Friday.

The Washington police, along with assistance from the FBI's Washington Field Office, will take over the investigation into the attack.

Security fencing

The Capitol has been surrounded by security fencing since the January 6 riot by hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump. The pro-Trump supporters were attempting to prevent the counting of electoral college votes for Biden, who won the November presidential election.

The outer ring of fencing was taken down this week, although an inner ring of fencing remains around the Capitol.

About 2,200 U.S. National Guard troops are providing additional security at the Capitol Complex since the riot, which left one Capitol Police officer dead and many others injured.

Congress is in recess, and most lawmakers are away.

"Today, America's heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. "He is a martyr for our democracy."

In a tweet Friday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol. We are still learning what's taken place. Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene."

VOA's Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.