A US Capitol Police officer who died Friday after a man rammed his car into him and another officer at a barricade was identified as an 18-year veteran of the force. William “Billy” Evans joined the department in 2003 and was a member of its first responders unit. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed Evans as a “martyr for our democracy,” while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was “heartbroken.” The death is the latest moment of sorrow for a department after the loss of Brian Sicknick, who clashed with rioters during the January 6 insurrection and died a day later, and Howard Liebengood, who committed suicide weeks after that.
Video shows the driver of the crashed car emerging with a knife in his hand and starting to run at the pair of officers, Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters. Authorities shot the suspect, identified by law enforcement officials as 25-year-old Noah Green.
Investigators were digging into his background and examining whether he had any history of mental health problems as they tried to discern a motive. They were working to obtain warrants to access his online accounts.
“Our thoughts and prayer are with the Officer who passed and his family," Larry Cosme, national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers' Association, said in a statement. "He gave his life in dedication to protecting our nation's democracy and should be treated as a national hero. Our prayers also remain with the second officer battling injuries sustained in the attack. We hope for a swift recovery and commend both officers for their courageous actions.”
A Capitol Police officer was killed Friday after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the US Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife, marking the second line-of-duty death this year for a department still recovering from the January 6 insurrection.
Flags at half-staff after Capitol officer killed
President Joe Biden has ordered that US flags at the White House be lowered to half-staff until April 6 in honour of a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was killed on Friday after a man rammed a car into a security checkpoint.
Biden says he and first lady Jill Biden are heartbroken over the death of Officer William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police force. A second Capitol police officer was injured in the attack, while the suspect was killed.
Biden says he knows what a difficult time it's been for the Capitol and all who work there and protect it. Friday's incident came about three months after the January 6 insurrection that killed a Capitol police officer and four other people.
Biden released the statement from the Camp David president retreat, where he is spending the weekend.
He expressed gratitude to the Capitol Police and the National Guard troops for responding quickly to the attack.
(With PTI inputs)