WASHINGTON — Almost three months to the day after the deadly January 6th insurrection, a car rammed into a barricade at an entrance to the U.S. Capitol and its driver lunged at police officers with a knife. According to the Capitol Police, at least one officer has died as a result of the attack and a second officer was badly injured.
The suspect was reportedly killed in the confrontation with police officers on duty. The attack happened at a northern entrance to the Capitol building.
Police officials identified the deceased police officer as William Evans. He is the second Capitol Police officer to die while on duty at the Capitol this year. The first, Brian Sicknick, died after being attacked with bear spray during January 6th pro-Trump insurrection, prosecutors say. Two officers died by suicide in the weeks after the insurrection, and hundreds more law-enforcement members suffered injuries defending the Capitol that day.
A U.S. Capitol Police official said he did not believe the attack was an act of terrorism based on the information they had so far but added that the investigation was ongoing. The Capitol Police added that there was “no indication at this time that there’s any nexus to any member of Congress.” NBC News and the New York Times have reported that the attacker was a 25-year-old Indiana man named Noah Green
Reporters on Capitol Hill tweeted photos and videos of the crime scene at a guarded entrance on the north side of the Capitol complex:
Appears that a car smashed into the barrier. Two people are on stretchers. Can’t see whether it’s an officer or civilian pic.twitter.com/Ud5WYGyKFu
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) April 2, 2021
Congressional staffers received a text message at around 1 p.m. telling them to seek shelter and stay away from windows and doors. The Capitol complex, which includes the Capitol itself as well as the many office buildings used by House and Senate members, their staffs, and all other employees, went on lockdown for several hours until the restrictions were lifted later on Friday afternoon. Video footage showed a helicopter landing on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, and dozens of National Guard members responding to the attack.
The attack comes after multiple Democratic and Republican lawmakers had called for shrinking the security perimeter and law-enforcement presence at the Capitol in the wake of the January 6th attack. Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the top Democrat and Republican, respectively, on the House Armed Services Committee, argued last month that they were “deeply troubled by the current level of security” around the Capitol and wanted a “measured drawdown” of the staggering number of National Guard members and other security officers at the Capitol. “We are around the United States Capitol. They added that the “present security posture is not warranted at this time.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed that position. “I think we’ve overdone it,” McConnell said on March 10. “I just checked earlier this morning—there have been no serious threats against the Capitol. I think we’re way overreacting.”