On the afternoon of April 2, a suspect rammed his car into two US Capitol Police (USCP) officers, ramming a internal barrier on the north side of the Capitol Complex, near the Constitution Avenue entrance.
At a press conference following the attack, Acting US Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Yogananda Pittman reported that the man then emerged from the vehicle, a blue sedan, holding a knife. Pittman said he then lunged toward two USCP officers.
“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said. Pittman said that the suspect was also pronounced dead at hospital. The other officer was also transferred to hospital.
No details were released on the suspect or the officer’s identities, pending notification of next of kin.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) chief Robert Contee spoke at the presser and said the MPD would take over the investigation of the shooting as well as the officer’s death. Contee said that there “does not appear to be an ongoing threat” to the Capitol or the surrounding neighborhoods at this time.
“At this time I just want to extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the entire MPD to all of the officers of the USCP and, unfortunately, for the loss of life that has occurred today.”
One pedestrian on Second Street NE, who declined to be named, expressed surprise upon learning of the events that unfolded in the early afternoon. Told the suspect had been shot, and died, he said, “Good. People are going completely crazy these days.”
This incident comes after weeks of debate about the fencing surrounding the Capitol Complex that was put in place following the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6. Several threats made the the Capitol, including a threat to “blow up” the building in February.
The footprint of the fencing was reduced to the Capitol Square itself the weekend of Mar. 13 and 14th.
Road closures were in place through Friday afternoon on East Capitol Street between First and Second Streets NE, and on First Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues NE.
With additional reporting from Elizabeth O’Gorek
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with Capital Community News. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected]