An officer was dead, as was a driver who rammed a vehicle into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol building and got out with a knife, authorities in Washington, D.C. said Friday.
Officer William Evans, who'd served with the United States Capitol Police for 18 years, was taken to a nearby hospital in a police cruiser but died a short time later, authorities said.
Another Capitol Police officer was hospitalized after being stabbed during the encounter – which sent the Capitol into lockdown -- shortly before 1:30 p.m.
“The entire Department of Justice mourns with the U.S. Capitol Police and the family of Officer William Evans," U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. "Our thoughts are also with the other brave officer injured in the attack.
“As the members of the U.S. Capitol Police have demonstrated this year, they will give their all to defend the seat of our democracy. The Washington Field Office of the FBI is assisting the Metropolitan Police Department with their investigation of this tragic attack.”
Surveillance video shows the driver emerging after the crash and attacking the two Capitol Police officers, stabbing one of them, at a north barricade vehicle access point on Constitution Avenue, Acting Chief of Police Yogananda Pittman said.
Police then shot him, the chief said.
The incident occurred about 100 yards from the entrance to the Senate side of the capitol, at a security checkpoint ordinarily used by senators and staff. Nearly all are away on break, however.
The as-yet unidentified driver wasn't on the department's radar, Pittman said, adding that the incident “does not appear to be terrorism related” or connected to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, Pittman noted.
It becomes the seventh line-of-duty death in the history of U.S. Capitol Police, who also lost one of their own in the January insurrection, as well as two others who died by suicide following the attack.
Evans "began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit," Pittman said. "Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of Jan. 6 and now the events that have occurred here today.”
Although authorities had erected a tall perimeter fence and restricted traffic around the Capitol, some of the security measures had been eased since President Biden took office.
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