Officer killed in attack near US Capitol

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 7:54 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021
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7:53 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

One officer is dead after suspect rams car into police barrier near the US Capitol. Here's what we know.

One US Capitol Police officer has died and another is injured after a suspect rammed a car into a police barricade outside the Capitol building Friday afternoon.

The suspect in the attack has also died.

Here's what we know:

  • The incident: At about 1:02 p.m. ET, a suspect rammed his car into two US Capitol officers and then hit the north barricade barrier at the Capitol, Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the US Capitol Police, said during a news conference Friday afternoon. "The suspect did start lunging toward US Capitol Police officers, at which time US Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect," she said. The Capitol complex was placed on lockdown following the attack.
  • The victims: Two US Capitol Police officers were taken to different hospitals with injuries and one died, Pittman added. The officer who died in the attack near the Capitol building was identified as William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year US Capitol Police veteran, the chief said in a statement. The second US Capitol Police officer who was struck by the car this afternoon is in stable and non-threatening condition, according to a tweet from the department.
  • The suspect: The suspect died following the attack, Pittman said. The suspect was identified as Noah Green, according to federal and local law enforcement sources. One federal source said he is 25. Green posted on social media in the weeks before the attack that he had lost his job and suffered medical ailments, and said he believed the federal government was targeting him with "mind control." 
  • The aftermath: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the US Capitol to be flown at half-staff following the officer's death, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff tweeted. "Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy," Pelosi said in a statement.
  • President Biden sends his condolences: Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden are heartbroken. “Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the US Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life.” Biden said. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.” The White House flag was lowered to half-staff.
  • Larger context: The officer who was killed Friday is the second to die in the line of duty this year. Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died a day after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 "due to injuries sustained while on-duty," the Capitol Police said in a statement. Two officers died by suicide after responding to the riot.
6:45 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Vice President Harris says fallen officer "made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the Capitol"

From CNN's DJ Judd

Vice President Kamala Harris issued a statement Friday regarding the death of US Capitol Police Officer William Evans, saying that he "made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the Capitol and those who work there on behalf of the American people."

Evans died after a man rammed a vehicle into a police barricade near the US Capitol building.

"Officer Evans, his family, and all those who knew him are in our hearts and prayers. We mourn with them during this difficult time," she said in the statement.

“Doug and I are grateful for the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and everyone else who responded swiftly to today’s attack,” Harris, who served in the Senate for four years, wrote. “And we continue to be proud of the courageous men and women who defend the Capitol, especially during a challenging period when they have faced two violent and deadly attacks.”

6:26 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Second Capitol Police officer struck this afternoon is in stable condition

The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the Senate side of the US Capitol.
The car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill is seen near the Senate side of the US Capitol. Carolyn Kaster/AP

The second US Capitol Police officer who was struck by the car this afternoon is in stable and non-threatening condition, according to a tweet from the department.

Police and National Guardsmen responded swiftly as the situation unfolded Friday, immediately moving to secure the Capitol as initial reports of violence began to emerge.

"Just after 1 p.m., a man in a blue sedan rammed his vehicle into the North Barricade at the US Capitol, striking 2 USCP officers," US Capitol Police said in a statement. "The Department immediately locked down the Capitol Campus. The man exited the vehicle with a knife and ran toward our officers. At least one officer, drew their weapon and shot the suspect."

6:08 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré on attack near US Capitol: "The system worked"

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré CNN

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who led a review of security at the US Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, said Friday that the "system worked," despite the loss of an officer, who died after a man rammed a car into a police barricade outside the Capitol building.

"The security system that worked today was the readiness of the Capitol police out front challenging the car and then the barriers, buffers that went in after 9/11," Honoré told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Unfortunately, we lost Officer Evans today, but by and large that system worked. The Capitol police responded, they stopped him. The system worked."

5:53 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Suspect in Capitol car attack posted about fears of FBI and CIA week before ramming officer

From CNN’s Casey Tolan, Paul Murphy, Brynn Gingras and Josh Campbell

Federal and local law enforcement sources told CNN that the suspect has been identified as Noah Green. Green is seen here in a photo taken from his Facebook page.
Federal and local law enforcement sources told CNN that the suspect has been identified as Noah Green. Green is seen here in a photo taken from his Facebook page. From Noah Green/Facebook

Noah Green, the suspect who law enforcement sources say rammed his car into two US Capitol Police officers on Friday, posted on social media in the weeks before the attack that he had lost his job and suffered medical ailments, and said he believed the federal government was targeting him with "mind control." 

Less than two hours before he was shot and killed, Green posted a number of Instagram stories on an account that appears to belong him, including links to ​other Instagram videos of Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan speaking.

“The U.S. Government is the #1 enemy of Black people!" a caption on one video read. In another post on the Instagram account, Green wrote last week that he believed Farrakhan had saved him "after the terrible afflictions I have suffered presumably by the CIA and FBI, government agencies of the United States of America." 

Responding to a comment on that post, Green wrote, “I have suffered multiple home break ins, food poisonings, assaults, unauthorized operations in the hospital, mind control.” 

Green, 25, graduated from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in finance, according to a program from the university commencement. A law enforcement source said he had a Virginia driver’s license. 

An online athletics bio from the university said he was born in Fairlea, West Virginia, and that the “person in history he’d most like to meet is Malcolm X.” In a March 17 post on a Facebook account that appears to belong to him, Green wrote that he believed Farrakhan is “Jesus, the Messiah,” and that Farrakhan was “instrumental on my awakening and life’s work.” Green signed the post “Brother Noah X.”

“To be honest these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” Green wrote in the post. “I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life.” 

He said that he was unemployed “after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey.” 

“My faith is one of the only things that has been able to carry me through these times and my faith is centered on the belief of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Jesus, the Messiah, the final divine reminder in our midst,” the post continued. “I consider him my spiritual father. Without his guidance, his word, and his teachings that I’ve picked up on along the way, I would’ve been unable to continue.”

The same day, Green uploaded an image of a certificate that appeared to recognize a gift he had made to the Nation of Islam of $1,085. He also posted links to videos of several speeches by Farrakhan. One of the videos, of a 1996 speech by Farrakhan, was titled “The Divine Destruction of America.”

In his Facebook post, Green wrote that he had been “unknowingly” taking a drug and suffering from side effects.

“The Minister is here to save me and the rest of humanity, even if it means facing death,” he wrote, appearing to reference Farrakhan. “Be willing to deny yourself and follow him, pick up your cross.”

The Instagram and Facebook accounts were both taken offline Friday afternoon. 

"After this horrific event, our thoughts are with the Capitol Police and their loved ones," a Facebook company spokesperson told CNN. "We have designated the incident under our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, which means we have removed the suspect’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram, and are removing any content that praises, supports, or represents the attack or the suspect. We are in contact with law enforcement as they conduct their investigation.” 

Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the ongoing investigation confirm to CNN the Facebook page is the suspect's. Additionally, an Instagram account with the same photos and information as the Facebook account was discovered by CNN. 

CNN has attempted to reach Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam for comment on this story but has not received a response. Calls to the Nation of Islam were directed to the organization’s newspaper, and an individual that picked up the phone at the newspaper said there was no one there that could comment on the story.

 

5:42 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Flag at White House lowered to half-staff in honor of fallen officer

From CNN's DJ Judd and Arlette Saenz

POOL
POOL

The White House flag has been lowered to half-staff following the death of William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year US Capitol Police veteran killed this afternoon after a man rammed a vehicle into a police barricade outside the Capitol building.

"It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William 'Billy' Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant," the department's acting chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.

During a press briefing, Pittman said the suspect in the attack, who brandished a knife after ramming his vehicle into a police barricade on Constitution Avenue and was subsequently shot by officers, had also died.

Federal and local law enforcement sources told CNN that the suspect has been identified as Noah Green. One federal source told CNN he was 25 years old. 

5:31 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Biden sends his "heartfelt condolences" to family of officer killed in Capitol incident

From CNN's DJ Judd

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden reacted to an incident at the US Capitol today that left one Capitol Police officer dead, saying he and first lady Jill Biden are heartbroken.

“Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the US Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life.” Biden said. “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.”

“I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds,�� he added.

Biden also said he has ordered that the White House flags to be lowered to half-mast.

Biden is at Camp David, Maryland, where he is spending the Easter holiday.

Watch:

4:37 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Schumer praises service of Capitol Police officers: "We're in their debt"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was "heartbroken" for the US Capitol Police officer who was killed in today's attack "defending our Capitol."

"I’m heartbroken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family. I’m praying for the officer injured and his family," Schumer tweeted. "We're in their debt."

The Democrat from New York thanked US Capitol Police, the National Guard and first responders "for all they do to protect the Capitol and those inside."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also tweeted about the incident, saying he is "Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol" and "Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the US Capitol to be flown at half-staff today in honor of the officer who was killed.

See Schumer's tweet:

4:37 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Pelosi honors "heroic death" of US Capitol officer: "He is a martyr for our democracy"

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement on today's attack near the Capitol and the US Capitol Police officer who was killed.

"Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy," Pelosi said in the statement.

Pelosi expressed her gratitude, and said the officers showed the same "extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service" as they did during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

"Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our Country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful," Pelosi said.

She said Congress "stands ready to assist law enforcement with a swift and comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack."

Pelosi also expressed her condolences for the officer's family.

“May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our Democracy," she said.

Pelosi ordered that the flags at the US Capitol be flown at half-staff in honor of the officer who was killed.