US Capitol Police first learned of the break-in at the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about 10 minutes after the incident when an officer noticed police lights and sirens on a live camera feed in the Capitol Police’s Washington, DC, command center, according to a source briefed on the attack.
CNN previously reported there may be video of the break-in that US Capitol Police and law enforcement could review as there are security cameras at the home, according to two law enforcement sources.
The San Francisco Police Department had stopped regularly posting a patrol car outside Pelosi’s house last year, according to two additional sources.
The Washington Post first reported the additional details of how Capitol Police became aware of the attack.
The revelation comes the same day a court filing revealed that the man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told authorities he was on a “suicide mission” and had plans to target other public officials.
David DePape, 42, told officers and medics at the scene that he was sick of the “level of lies” coming from Washington, DC, and “came here to have a little chat with his wife,” the filing said. “I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.”
DePape named several targets, the filing said, including prominent state and federal politicians and their relatives.
Court filing details more from attack
The document provides the most detailed account yet of the attack on Paul Pelosi last week, which has touched off fresh concern about violence against lawmakers. Federal law enforcement agencies have consistently warned about the increasing threat of politically motivated violence after January 6, 2021, raising specific concerns about the likelihood that online calls for violence result in real-world attacks.
According to the court filing, DePape “smashed through a window in a back door of the Pelosi home in search of” the House speaker and “startled” awake 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, who had been asleep wearing just a pajama top and boxer shorts.
“Are you Paul Pelosi?” DePape asked, standing over Pelosi’s bed around 2 a.m., according to the filing, before repeating: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”
Pelosi, who the filing described as “still groggy,” told the suspect, “She’s not here,” before saying his wife was in Washington and was “not going to be back for a couple of days.”
“Okay, well, I’m going to tie you up,” DePape said, according to the filing.
At one point during the incident, Paul Pelosi asked DePape why he wanted to see Nancy Pelosi. “Well she’s No. 2 from the presidency, right?” DePape said, according to the filing.
When Paul Pelosi agreed, DePape allgedly said, “We’ve got to take them all out.”
DePape also said he knew security cameras were everywhere, according to the filing, but that he was intent on taking Nancy Pelosi hostage and breaking her knee caps if she lied to him.
Police chief praises ‘heroic’ actions
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night that after reviewing police body camera footage of the attack, he believes the suspect intended to kill Paul Pelosi.
“What is crystal clear to me is he tried to kill Mr. Pelosi,” Scott said on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Pelosi appears to have been hit with DePape’s hammer at least once as seen on police body camera footage, but investigators are working to determine if he was hit more than that, Scott said. From the moment the door was opened to when DePape was tackled happened in about three seconds, and was a “very rapid series of events” that was stopped quickly, he said.
Evidence also shows that the incident was clearly a break-in, the police chief said.
Pelosi’s 911 phone call was about three minutes long, the chief added, and he was able to subtly identify himself to the dispatcher, who was then able to escalate the call.
“At the end of the day, she did figure it out and raised the priority of the call thinking that wasn’t like what was reported by Mr. Pelosi, there was something more there,” Scott said. “I say again, I think her being able to figure out along with Mr. Pelosi’s keeping his wits about him. He was heroic and the dispatcher figuring out that there was something more was also heroic.”
Earlier Tuesday, DePape entered a not guilty plea to all state charges during an initial appearance in court. He has been charged with a litany of crimes, including assault, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.
He also waived his right to a hearing within 10 days at his arraignment at a San Francisco court room. Judge Diane Northway set a hearing for Friday in San Francisco Superior Court to set a date for the preliminary hearing and bail setting.
He has not yet entered a plea in federal court.
DePape’s attorney, Adam Lipson, said outside the courtroom Tuesday, “There’s been a lot of speculation, a lot of rumor, simply based on the nature of this case. So I’m not going to add to all the speculation by talking about the facts of this case right now.”
“What I will say is that there’s been a lot of speculation regarding Mr. DePape’s vulnerability to misinformation and that’s certainly something we are going to look into, that we are going to delve into, as his defense team, but again it would be premature to talk about that at this time,” Lipson said.
Members of the Pelosi family are expected to be able to hear audio from the 911 call Paul Pelosi placed to police and see body camera footage of officers who responded to the home the night of the attack, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Sonnet Swire, Augie Martin, Veronica Miracle, Julia Jones and Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.