A Capitol Police officer was killed and a knife-wielding assailant shot by police after a vehicle rammed into two officers at the barrier erected at the main vehicular access point to the Capitol complex.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said that at 1:02 p.m. a driver approached the vehicle access point along Constitution Avenue NE at Delaware Avenue NE, hit two officers, and then hit the concrete barrier that is a permanent feature of the Capitol’s perimeter security. Images from the scene showed a blue sedan with the front of the car crumpled against the concrete vehicle barrier.
Pittman said the driver exited the vehicle “with knife in hand,” began to “run aggressively toward U.S. Capitol Police” and “did not respond to verbal commands.” Officers shot the suspect, who died at a hospital.
Citing multiple law enforcement sources, NBC News identified the attacker as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana.
The chief said the attacker was not “on file” with Capitol Police and there was “no indication at this time of any nexus to any member of Congress” or any other potential target.
Two officers were taken to separate hospitals, where one died from his injuries. Capitol Police later identified the officer as William ‘Billy’ Evans, an 18-year veteran of the department and a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said his department’s homicide division and internal affairs were conducting the investigation and there was “not a lot of information we can release to the public at this time.”
“At this time there does not appear to be an ongoing threat,” he said, stressing that investigators “need to understand the motivation behind this senseless act.”
It “does not appear” that the suspect was known to either D.C. Police or Capitol Police, he said.
“It does not appear to be terrorism-related but we will continue to investigate to see if there’s some sort of nexus along those lines,” Contee told reporters, noting that “clearly this was someone who was trying to actively get at whoever or whatever — we just don’t know that yet.”
The Capitol complex was locked down after the attack. Lawmakers were not in session because of the spring break.
Constitution Avenue was recently reopened along the Capitol after being part of an extended perimeter lockdown after the Jan. 6 riot.
Constitution Avenue between Second Street NE and First Street NW and First Street between Constitution Avenue NE and Independence Avenue SE were closed around the scene today.
“I just ask the public — continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers,” Pittman said, noting the trauma of this attack less than three months after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Police security posture “remains in a steady state at this time,” she said.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of the U.S. Capitol Police Officer who lost his life today protecting the very symbol of our democracy,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “There is still much to be determined about this attack and DHS offers its full support to Capitol Police and DC Mayor Bowser.”
President Joe Biden released a statement mourning the loss of Officer Evans. “We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,” he said. “I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds.”
“I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack. As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.”
This story was updated at 5 p.m. EST