Officer killed, another injured in US Capitol car-ramming attack

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of AmericaUpdated: Apr 03, 2021, 08:56 AM IST
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The Friday incident forced the Capitol Hill into lockdown less than three months after a mob assault on Congress.

A US Capitol police officer succumbed to his injuries, while a second is in stable and non-threatening condition after a vehicle rammed through security and crashed into a barrier at the Washington complex.

The Friday incident forced the Capitol Hill into lockdown less than three months after a mob assault on Congress.

Capitol Police shot dead the driver after he jumped out of the car and lunged at them with a knife, Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters.

President Joe Biden, who was with first lady Jill Biden at Camp David for the Easter holiday, offered his "heartfelt condolences" to the family of William Evans, the veteran policeman killed in the attack.

"Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds," Biden said in a statement.

National Guard troops were mobilised Friday and staff at the huge Capitol complex ordered to stay away from windows and seek cover after alerts went out over the incident shortly after 1:00 pm (1700 GMT).

US media said officials had identified the attacker as Noah Green, a 25-year-old Black man from Indiana and an adherent of the Black nationalist Nation of Islam movement. Some of his online postings in March suggested a level of despair and paranoia. He said he was unemployed and had health problems, and made references to biblical concepts of the end of times. 

In one post he spoke of being tormented by the FBI and CIA, hospitalised and subjected to "mind control," and called the government "the #1 enemy of Black people!"

He also said he was a follower of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who promotes Black nationalist, anti-white and anti-Semitic thinking.

Facebook said it had removed Green's account from the social network as well as Instagram, and that it would remove "any content that praises, supports, or represents the attack or the suspect." 

Pittman said there was no immediate indication of his motivation or police file on him.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags lowered to half-staff on the Capitol, calling Evans "a martyr for our democracy."

"Members of Congress, staff and Capitol workers, and indeed all Americans, are united in appreciation for the courage of the US Capitol Police," she said.

Biden also lowered White House flags.

The attack came months after the January assault on Congress by hundreds of supporters of then-president Donald Trump.

One Capitol Police officer died as a result of the attack, as well as four other individuals who took part or were nearby.

More than 300 people have been charged in the January attack, including members of armed extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and 100 more are expected to be charged, according to Justice Department court filings.