WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A Capitol police officer is dead after a man rammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol, striking two officers, before being shot and killed by police Friday afternoon.
A man rammed a sedan into the barricade on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol around 1 p.m. Friday, fatally injuring Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans and hurting another officer in the process, U.S. Capitol Police said.
Officials say the driver got out of the vehicle and lunged at police with a knife in his hand before at least one officer shot him.
Both officers and the suspect were hospitalized, and Officer Evans and the suspect succumbed to their injuries. The second officer is in stable condition with injuries that do not appear to be life threatening.
Pittman said Evans had been on the force for 18 years.
“He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” she said in a statement.
Law enforcement officials identified the slain suspect as 25-year-old Noah Green. Investigators were digging into his background and examining whether he had any mental health history as they tried to discern a motive. They were working to obtain warrants to access his online accounts.
Authorities said that there was no longer an ongoing threat and that the attack did not appear to be related to terrorism. There was also no immediate connection apparent between Friday’s crash and the Jan. 6 riot.
“It does not appear to be terrorism-related but obviously we’ll continue to investigate,” said Robert Contee, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington.
The crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess. It comes as the Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Pittman said the suspect did not appear to have been on police radar, and that they did not yet know what had motivated the attacker. But the incident underscores that the building and campus remain potential targets for violence.
Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the suspect stabbed one of the officers. The officials spoke to AP were not authorized to publicly discuss the pending investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
“I just ask that the public continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers,” Pittman said. “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.”
President Joe Biden released a statement on the attack, saying he and first lady Jill Biden were “heartbroken” to learn of the attack that killed Officer Evans and left another fighting for his life.
The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings. Video and photos showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash. Police said later they have since “cleared the external security threat incident located at all of the U.S. Capitol Campus buildings” but that the area around the crime scene will continue to be restricted.
The incident occurred about 100 yards from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed as the Capitol has started to open up after the Jan. 6 riots.
The security checkpoint is typically used by senators and staff on weekdays. Congress is currently on recess.
Photo and video from the scene show a dark-colored sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier, and a police K9 inspecting the vehicle. Law enforcement and paramedics could be seen caring for at least one unidentified individual. A helicopter was seen hovering overhead and observers were ordered to leave the area.
President Joe Biden had just departed the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred. As customary, he was traveling with a member of the National Security Council Staff who was expected to brief him on the incident.
NewsNation reporter Alexandra Limon took video from the scene that can be viewed in the player below.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report, with reporting by Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long/AP
This is a developing story; refresh for updates