New drama in Washington. On the outskirts of the Capitol, seat of the US Congress, a man tried to force a security checkpoint with his car on Friday afternoon, charging at two police officers. The man then got out of his vehicle with a knife and officers had to shoot to neutralize him. The very first reports indicated the rapid arrest of the suspect and specified that the three men had been taken to hospital. But minutes later, at a press conference, Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman confirmed that the suspect and one of the two officers died of their injuries.
The attack of January 6
The tragedy took place near a checkpoint on the Senate side. President Joe Biden reacted a few hours later, by way of a statement. “Jill and I were heartbroken when we learned of the violent attack at a security checkpoint inside the United States Capitol compound which killed Constable William Evans of the Capitol Police and left another officer behind. fight for his life, ”he wrote. “I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force and others who responded swiftly to this attack. As we mourn the loss of another brave Capitol Police officer, I have ordered the White House flags to be half-masted ”.
The Capitol precinct had been placed under very high protection since the murderous assault of January 6 led by pro-Trump demonstrators who came to contest the victory of Joe Biden. Some of the protective barriers had recently been removed, and the security perimeter tightened around the seat of the US Parliament.
The elected representatives of Congress are on parliamentary recess this week but some members of their teams, Congress employees and journalists were present. A helicopter landed for a while on the esplanade at the foot of the Capitol and then left, according to the images of a journalist filmed from inside.
The suspect has been identified as a 25-year-old man from Indiana. Its motives are not yet known. But the police seem to rule out a “terrorist threat”. Three months after the assault on the Capitol which resulted in the death of five people, this drama inevitably resuscitates the security trauma that had transformed the capital into an entrenched camp for several weeks. On Friday, images of soldiers from the National Guard, with riot shields deployed around parliamentary offices or to reinforce police roadblocks, plunged Americans back into the post-January 6 atmosphere.
Flags at half mast
Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has ordered the Capitol flags to be lowered at half mast in tribute to the deceased police officer. “My heart is broken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family. I pray for the injured officer and his family. We owe them a debt. We thank the Capitol Police, the National Guard and first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those who are there, ”for his part tweeted Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate. .
My heart is broken for the officer killed today to defend our Capitol and for his family. I pray for the injured officer and his family.
We are in their debt
We thank the Capitol Police, National Guard and first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those within
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 2, 2021