WASHINGTON — A Capitol police officer has died Friday after a man rammed a car into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol, striking two officers, before being shot and killed by police.
Capitol police have identified the officer killed as Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans, an 18-year veteran of the department.
According to U.S. Capitol Police, a man rammed a sedan into the barricade on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol around 1p.m. Friday, injuring Evans and another officer in the process.
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 Evans and the suspect died from their injuries.
Authorities said that there was no longer an ongoing threat, and the attack did not appear to be related to terrorism but the investigation is ongoing. There was also no immediate connection apparent between Friday’s crash and the Jan. 6 riot.
The crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol. The complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting, and staff were not allowed to enter or exit buildings.
Police later said 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.
Local lawmakers react
Congress is currently on recess, but members of Congress from Kansas and Missouri were quick to react to the incident.
Lawmakers from the Kansas City area mourned the fallen officer and thanked the first responders who have been working around the clock to keep the Capitol and those inside safe.
“I am following yet another troubling incident at the Capitol. Thankful for the @CapitolPolice who do their best to keep us safe every day, and praying for the injured officers,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri tweeted.
“Robba and I join the country in mourning the loss of the fallen U.S. Capitol Police officer following today’s senseless act of violence. We are praying for the recovery of the injured USCP officer and the safety of all first responders who sacrifice each day to keep us safe,” Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said on Twitter.
“With today’s shameful attack, we are reminded of the danger @CapitolPolice face every day. I am praying for the injured officers, their families, & colleagues,” Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri tweeted.
“I’m continuing to monitor the situation at the Capitol as it unfolds. My thoughts are with the US Capitol Police, the injured officer, and the loved ones of the officer who was tragically killed in the line of duty,” Kansas’ Rep. Sharice Davids said on Twitter.
“Praying for our Capitol Police officers this afternoon,” Missouri’s Rep. Vicky Hartzler tweeted. “Thankful for all of the first responders who were quick on the scene to provide help and assistance.”
“We are praying for the @CapitolPolice Officers involved in the incident outside the U.S. Capitol today. Grateful for their heroism and for always keeping us safe,” Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas tweeted.
“My thoughts go out to the United States Capitol Police officer killed today and the officer’s family. I pray for the health of the second officer injured, for their family, & for all our police officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our our communities safe,” Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri said on Twitter.
The crash and shooting come as the Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol while Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Officials 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.
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.