Update: This story has been updated to include a briefing from law enforcement.
What was supposed to be a quiet Good Friday afternoon on Capitol Hill instead conjured memories of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
After a vehicle rammed into a barricade on the North side of the Capitol Grounds, a U.S. Capitol Police Officer is dead, as is the driver of the car.
The driver is alleged to have brandished a knife before a U.S. Capitol Police officer shot the suspect.
The deceased officer has been identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans, who has served on the Capitol Police force for 18 years. Authorities have not publicly named the suspect yet, but NBC News and and CNN have both identified the driver as Noah Green, who is said to have been 25 years old.
The suspect rammed two officers and then collided with the barricade, Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, told reporters. The driver then exited the car with a knife in hand, and did not respond to verbal commands from officers, according to Pittman. The suspect then lunged at one of the officers, according to Pittman, at which point officers then fired upon the suspect.
Law enforcement is not yet releasing the identities of the officers involved as they are still notifying next of kin. The identity of the suspect also remains unknown, and neither USCP nor D.C.’s Metropolitan police force had the suspect on their files, the authorities said.
Up until recently, the barricade entrance had been well within the security perimeter erected after the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol. Where the vehicle crashed is near the entrance commonly used by congressional staff, reporters, and official visitors. (Tourist use a separate entrance farther away from the Capitol building).
With both chambers on recess, and it being a Friday — and particularly Good Friday, before Easter — far fewer people were in Capitol than when Congress is in session. News of a security threat at the Capitol first broke when Capitol staff received a message instructing them to seek cover and avoid windows.
By then, police and first responders were already mobilizing around the scene, and a helicopter was seen landing on the east side of the Capitol grounds — an uncommon sight typically only seen during inaugurations when a helicopter transports the outgoing First Family after the ceremony.
Eventually, members of the National Guard were also observed reporting to the scene and the FBI was also part of the response, a spokesperson told TPM.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the situation, a DOJ spokesperson said.