Two people are dead after a male suspect drove into a U.S. Capitol barricade Friday, striking two officers before getting shot as he exited his vehicle “with a knife in hand.”
According to the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman, the officers at the scene engaged the suspect” but reported that “he did not respond to verbal commands.”
“The suspect did start lunging toward US Capitol Police officers, at which time US Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect,” she explained. “At this time the suspect has been pronounced deceased.”
One Capitol Police officer is also dead following the incident. While authorities reported that “at least one of the officers was stabbed,” it is unclear why the officer “succumbed to his injuries.” The second Capitol Police officer remains in the hospital in critical condition.
While Congres is currently in recess and President Joe Biden had already departed from the White House to Camp David, the Capitol complex was quickly placed on lockdown following the shooting and members of the National Guard were deployed to the area to provide extra security.
While Capitol security was heightened following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, authorities said that the incident appears to be unrelated. The acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee also assured the public that the attack “does not appear to be terrorism-related,” but that an investigation is underway.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ordered Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff in observance of the officer’s death and the president is reportedly “aware” of the situation.
Speaker Pelosi has ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff due to the death of a U.S. Capitol Police Officer in the of duty today. The process of lowering the flags may take longer than usual because of the Capitol’s current lockdown status.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) April 2, 2021
As of 3:27 p.m. EST, the Capitol lockdown concluded and staffers were ordered to “follow police direction.”