Washington, Aug 3 (EFE).- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that an officer of the Pentagon police was killed Tuesday in an incident at a transit station just outside the emblematic five-sided building that houses the United States Department of Defense.
“This fallen officer died in the line of duty, helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in – and who visit – the Pentagon on a daily basis,” Austin said in a statement.
“He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family, and known to us all as professional, skilled and brave,” the secretary said.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) officer was stabbed to death, officials told US media outlets.
Law enforcement personnel on duty at the transit station opened fire on the assailant and killed him, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Pentagon was locked down for more than an hour following the incident, which took place at around 10:37 am.
Announcing the end of the lockdown at 12:15 pm, the PFPA described the area around the Metro rail and bus platform as “an active crime scene” and urged people to stay away.
The fire rescue service in Arlington, Virginia, the Washington suburb where the Pentagon is located, said that paramedics responding to the incident “did encounter multiple patients” at the scene.
During a news briefing early Tuesday afternoon, PFPA chief Woodrow Kusse said only that an officer “was attacked on the Metro Bus platform” and that “gunfire was exchanged.”
He provided no details and said that it was too early to say whether the attacker’s aim was to enter the Pentagon. EFE lb/dr