Washington, Apr 2 (efe-epa).- Two people – including the assailant – are dead after a man rammed his car into two police officers outside the US Capitol on Friday before jumping out and threatening the officers with a knife, authorities said.
“The suspect entered what we refer to as the north barricade of the Capitol. The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers and then hit the north barricade barrier,” the acting chief of the US Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, told reporters.
“The suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand. Our officers then engaged that suspect. 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. At this time the suspect has been pronounced deceased,” she said.
The two injured officers were taken to hospitals and one of them “succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said.
Congress is currently in recess for Easter, but some lawmakers and staff were working inside the Capitol, which was locked down for several hours to deal with the “external security threat.”
Robert Contee, acting chief of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, said the attack did “not appear to be terrorism related” and he discounted any “ongoing threat.”
The attacker, whose name has yet to be released, was not known to police, Contee said.
Members of the National Guard’s Immediate Response Unit, formed in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by supporters of now-former President Donald Trump, were deployed within minutes of the initial alert.
Five people died in the riot, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for US Capitol police after the events of Jan. 6, and now the events that have occurred here today,” Pittman said during the news conference. “So I ask that you keep our US Capitol police family in your thoughts and prayers.”
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, ordered that flags at the Capitol be flown at half-mast to honor the officer killed Friday in the line of duty. EFE