On Friday afternoon, one US Capitol Police officer was killed and another was seriously injured after a man drove a vehicle into a security barricade outside the Capitol complex, according to acting Capitol police chief Yogananda Pittman.
The officer killed has been identified as William “Billy” Evans. He had been with the Capitol Police for 18 years and was a member of the “First Responders Unit.” President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the situation and said that the second officer injured was “fighting for his life.”
The driver is believed to be a 25-year-old man from Indiana, identified by four senior police officials as Noah Green. In a press conference after the attack, Pittman said that after Green crashed his vehicle into the barricade, he ran out of the vehicle with a knife prompting an unidentified police officer to shoot him.
As of this writing no motive has been established for the attack. Pittman said that Green was not previously known to Capitol Police, “so there’s no indication at this time that there’s any nexus to any member of Congress.”
The attempted breach of the Capitol happened at around 1 p.m. local time prompting the Capitol complex to be locked down for roughly two hours. The attack prompted the deployment of hundreds of police, military and security personnel as the Capitol complex went into lockdown. Legislative and Capitol staff received an emergency text from Capitol police warning that due to an “external security threat, no entry or exit is permitted, stay away from exterior windows, doors. If outside, seek cover.”
In a statement to The Hill, the DC National Guard confirmed the deployment of a Quick Reaction Force of National Guard soldiers and airmen who arrived within 45 minutes of the attack, a stark contrast to the hours it took for soldiers to support overrun police forces on January 6.
Congress is currently in a spring recess, so no lawmakers were in the Capitol at the time of the attack.
Acting Chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee said in a press conference that his department would be leading the investigation, which he said at this time, “does not appear to be terrorism related.”
According to police, Green had been recently living in Virginia. On his now-deleted Facebook page, NBC News reported that Green’s recent status updates indicate he was having a difficult time trying to find work and that the past few years have been, “tough” while the last few months were, “tougher.”
“I am currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey,” he allegedly wrote on his deleted Facebook page.
Green also appeared to be a follower of the black nationalist Nation of Islam and its head Louis Farrakhan. NBC reported that his page featured, “several recent postings” from Nation of Islam and Farrakhan. On March 17, Green allegedly posted about the “end times” and his final post on March 21 was a 150-minute YouTube sermon from Farrakhan titled, “The crucifixion of Michael Jackson.”
The latest violent incident at the Capitol comes less than three months after a mob of Trump supporters, led by the Proud Boy, Oath Keeper and III Percenter fascist militias, stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the election and install former President Donald Trump as dictator.
The over-running of the Capitol coupled by the de-facto stand down of police and military forces, which DC National Guard Commander William Walker testified last month were purposefully delayed by high-ranking Department of Defense officials, led to the deployment of over 25,000 Guardsmen and the installation of a seven-foot high non-scalable fencing around the Capitol.
In mid-March, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III announced that more than 2,200 National Guard troops would remain stationed in DC through May 23.
Despite the militarized fortification of the Capitol, continued threats of fascistic violence forced the House of Representatives to cancel a March 4 legislative session. The date had been widely circulated on social media by QAnon adherents as the day Trump would seize power and depose the “illegitimate” Biden.
With Democrats all but abandoning any attempt to identify and charge those within the state who worked with Trump in facilitating the stand-down of security forces, such as former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, Republicans—many of whom backed the coup attempt by voting to oppose the certification of the election—have been demanding a drawdown of security around the Capitol.
In a March 8 video posted to Twitter, freshman Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert demanded that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tear down the security fencing, which she dubbed “Fort Pelosi.” The video ended by fading to black to the sounds of gunshots.
Boebert is an adherent to the fascistic QAnon conspiracy theory and has previously attacked Pelosi for not allowing her to carry a gun on the floor of Congress. In January, Boebert, along with Maryland Republican representative Andy Harris were stopped by Capitol police attempting to bring firearms into the chamber.