A vehicle smashed through a metal barrier on the north side of the US Capitol Building in Washington D.C. at approximately 1:05 Friday afternoon, injuring two Capitol Police officers, killing one of them.
The suspect, who was immediately shot and taken into custody by another Capitol Police officer, according to the New York Times, has died. They also report that three officers total had been taken to the hospital.
Observers on the scene took video footage of several individuals being taken away from the scene on stretchers. It was not apparent at the time if those people were occupants of the vehicle or were Capitol police or other security.
The gated entrance, with a pop-up metal gate that can be risen and lowered, is one of several that allow access to the U.S. Capitol. It is primarily used by senators and staff who work in the Capitol building.
Capitol Police officer killed was second USCP officer killed this year
One Capitol Police officer, along with the suspect, has now been confirmed dead in the attack.
Police spokesmen say that the attacker had not been known to Capitol Police prior to the incident. No motive is known at this time.
“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” acting U.S Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters in a news briefing this afternoon.
Pittman said officers shot the driver after he exited the vehicle wielding a knife and “started to lunge aggressively toward US Capitol police officers.”
D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said there does not appear to be an ongoing threat and that the incident “does not appear to be terrorism-related.”
An email sent to Capitol Hill office workers said “The USCP has cleared the external security threat incident located at all of the U.S. Capitol Campus buildings, however the areas around the crime scene will continue to be restricted and individuals should follow police direction.”
Two Capitol Building Police down; suspect and police officer now deceased
The city’s Metropolitan Police Department reported that they received a 911 call at 1:05 pm regarding a “possible shooting” near the Capitol.
It emerged at 1:30 in the afternoon that two Capitol police were indeed among the injured. The US Capitol building, still reeling from a riot that took place on its premises on January 6, was put on lockdown yet again, but the lockdown was lifted by 3 pm as officers determined there was no longer a threat to anyone in the area.
A message sent to congressional offices said, “Due to an external security threat,” there was ” no entry or exit is permitted at this time. You may move throughout the building(s) but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek cover.”
Meanwhile, two law enforcement officials told NBC News that after striking the two officers, the driver jumped out of the car while holding a knife and was shot by Capitol police. He, along with the two Capitol Police officers, was taken to the hospital, but the suspect has now been pronounced dead.
CNN’s Lauren Fox reported that by 1:45 PM ambulances and a helicopter were outside the building.
Washington DC Fire spokesman Vito Maggiolo told the press that the fire department is responding to a reported shooting at the north barricade of the Capitol and there were indications they would be transporting patients.
Meanwhile, Congress is having their Spring recess so none of the legislators were in the building at the time.
🚨🚨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
BREAKING: The U.S. Capitol is on lockdown and two Capitol Police officers have been injured, officials have confirmed. https://t.co/o2UawTUjKu
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) April 2, 2021
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
Greek-American leaders respond to January 6 incident at Capitol
On January 6, legions of Trump supporters, breaking away from a massive Martin the Capital, broke off and stormed the building. After that incident, Gerri-American leaders roundly condemned the action.
They asked for unity and calling for the violence and lawlessness to stop immediately.
“Let us pray for a united United States. Let us pray for peace and reconciliation,” the Greek Orthodox Archbishop if the Americas, Elpidophoros, Tweeted in response to the events, in which an enormous demonstration spilled over into the Capitol building, with people swarming past Capitol police and invading the House and Senate chambers and offices.
“We are a democracy, and adhering to the will of the people ensures ‘one Nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all’,” the Archbishop added.
Let us pray for a united United States. Let us pray for peace and reconciliation. We are a democracy, and adhering to the will of the people ensures “one Nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
— Elpidophoros (@Elpidophoros) January 7, 2021
Rep. John Sarbanes, (D) Maryland, posted on Twitter “Today’s rhetoric from President Trump and the violent actions of his supporters struck at the heart of our democracy. I am safe. The Capitol is now secure. My colleagues and I will continue to carry out our Constitutional duties and finish counting the Electoral College votes.”