A Capitol police officer has died and another is injured after being mowed down by a knife-wielding suspect who drove his car through a barrier then emerged with a knife before being shot dead on Friday.
At 1:02 pm, the driver plowed his blue Nissan Altima through the barrier at Constitution Avenue, smashing the two cops, before emerging from with a knife. He then lunged at other cops nearby, ignoring commands, and was shot dead.
The two Capitol cops were taken from the scene to different hospitals but one has now died.
No information has been released about the identities of the cops or the suspect. Capitol Police said they do not think the incident was terror related but that the investigation is ongoing.
Fencing that had been in place around the Capitol since the January 6 riot was taken down just last week.
‘It is with a very very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumb to his injuries,’ Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said at a press conference on Friday, adding that it had been a ‘tough’ year for the force.
Armed National Guardsmen were deployed immediately and have been seen patrolling the halls of government buildings but police say there is no outstanding threat.
The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings. Video showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash.
Video posted online showed a dark colored sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier and a police K-9 inspecting the vehicle. Law enforcement and paramedics could be seen caring for at least one unidentified individual.
Neither the House or Senate is in session this week so lawmakers are back in their home states instead of being in the Capitol building.
The White House did not appear to have an immediate change in security posture in response to the situation at the Capitol. President Joe Biden had left to spend Easter at Camp David shortly before the incident occurred.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there is a member of the national security team, an acting chief of staff and a member of the press team traveling with him, as is standard operating procedure.