WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Capitol Police Department says Officer William 'Billy' Evans has died and another officer was injured after being rammed by a vehicle outside the building Friday afternoon.
Evans was an 18-year member of the Capitol Police.
“It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William 'Billy' Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant," Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said. "Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police 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.”
This ramming incident comes nearly three months after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win. Five people died during or shortly after the riot and the D.C. area remains on edge, with heightened security.
Evans was the fourth member of the Capitol Police to die since the Jan. 6 insurrection. Capitol Police said that Officer Brian Sicknick died on Jan. 7 as a result of injuries sustained during the insurrection. Two others officers died by suicide in the days following the Jan. 6 attack.
NBC News reported that the suspect was identified as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana. Green was reportedly killed by Capitol Police during the attack.
Pittman said the driver rammed the vehicle into the officers and hit the Capitol’s “north barricade barrier" shortly after 1 p.m. ET.
Afterwards, police say the suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand, didn’t respond to verbal commands and appeared to lunge towards the officers. Police then fired at the suspect, who has now died.
Pittman said the two injured officers were transported to two different hospitals.
“And it is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumb to his injuries,” said Pittman.
Pittman asked the public to keep Capitol Police in their 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, so I ask that you keep our U.S. Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Pittman.
The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia will be investigating the incident. The department’s chief, Robert Conti, told reporters that there doesn’t appear to be an ongoing threat in the area.
“Obviously, we’re in the very early stages of our investigation. We need to obviously understand the motivation behind this senseless act, so the Metropolitan Police Department will be doing that,” said Conti.
At this time, Conti said it doesn’t appear that the suspect was known to the area police. He also said it doesn’t appear to be terrorism related.
Watch authorities provide an update on the incident below:
The U.S. Capitol was placed on a lockdown as a result of the incident. According to screenshots of a text alert, staff in the building were warned of an “external security threat.” They were told that no one could enter or exit and were advised to stay away from exterior windows and doors. And if they were outside, they were told to “seek cover.”
🚨🚨Capitol staff just got this text message
I’m in the Capitol and will keep everyone posted here. pic.twitter.com/ydQGyCJcof
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) April 2, 2021
NBC News reporter Jake Sherman captured a video of a helicopter landing on the east front of the Capitol. He said the area was "swarming with police officers."
🚨🚨A helicopter just landed on the east front of the Capitol. I’ve never seen anything like this before. ever. pic.twitter.com/LxV0mywRSe
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) April 2, 2021
Biden issued a statement following the attack, adding that he has order flags to be lowered to half-mast.
Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life. We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.
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.