A lone suspect attempted to breach the barricade at the Capitol, hitting two officers
WASHINGTON D.C.- One Capitol Police officer is dead and another injured after a man’s attempt to get inside the complex failed Friday afternoon. Just after 1 p.m. Friday, a man drove up to the Capitol complex, “ramming” his blue sedan into two officers at the North Barricade. After that, he tried to drive through the barricade itself. The suspect then got out of the car with a knife in hand, said acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
“From what we can see on video at this time, he started to run aggressively toward Capitol Police,” Pittman told reporters, adding the man didn’t respond when told to stop. At that point, “U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect.”
To be clear, reports from other media indicated that he had actually stabbed at least one officer. Pittman said that is not true, based on the video of the incident.
Immediately, officials locked down the Capitol complex, with a message going out over the loudspeakers that staff members could not enter or exit the building. The suspect and the two officers he hit were taken to the hospital. Both the suspect and one officer later died at the hospital.
Paying Tribute to Evans
Capitol Police identified the officer who died as William F. Evans. He had served with the Capitol Police for 18 years, joining on March 7, 2003. He worked as a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit.
“America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our U.S. Capitol Police heroes, William Evans,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “He is a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful. May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time.”
President Joe Biden and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also issued statements. Northam ordered all U.S. and Virginia flags in the Commonwealth to be flown at half-staff until sunset on April 6, as a sign of respect for Evans and the second officer injured in the attack. Capitol Police say that second officer remains in the hospital in stable condition.
In the afternoon press conference, Pittman asked all of the country to pray for her officers.
“I just ask the public to continue to keep the U.S. Capitol Police in your prayers,” Pittman said. “This has been an extremely difficult time.”
What Do We Know About The Suspect?
When it comes to the suspect, we both know a lot and a little. We know the man was 25-year-old Noah Green, a former Covington, Virginia resident who graduated in 2014 from Alleghany High.
Green, who has seven sisters and two brothers, got his start at Division II Glenville State before transferring to Christopher Newport University. The school confirmed his status as a former student Friday night and here’s a link to his football profile.
He graduated from CNU in 2019 with a degree in finance. But while that tells a bit about his background, it doesn’t answer the one question people want to know. Why attack the U.S. Capitol? Why drive into two Capitol Police officers?
For that, no one has an answer yet. In his CNU material, Green mentions that Malcom X is the person he’d most like to meet. And in now-deleted Facebook posts, he references support for the Nation of Islam. This passage is taken from a March 17 Facebook post. Dogwood had linked to it before the page had been taken down.
There was nothing political in any of the material Dogwood saw, nothing to give a reason why he would stage an attack like this.
Capitol Police Turn Over Investigation
Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department will handle the investigation, Pittman said on Friday. Metro Police Chief Robert Conti confirmed that, adding the department’s homicide division and its Internal Affairs will look at the case. It’s just standard procedure to include Internal Affairs when there’s an officer-involved shooting, regardless of the circumstances. At this point, Conti said there’s very little information to provide. However, he made it clear this does not appear to be an ongoing threat.
“Obviously, we’re still in the very early stages of our investigation,” Conti said. “We need to understand the motivation.”
It does not appear to be terrorist-related, Conti said. The suspect also was not on any watch lists for the Metro or Capitol police departments.
Brian Carlton is Dogwood’s managing editor. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.