Police officer dead after suspect rams car into barricade outside U.S. Capitol

Law enforcement investigate the scene after a vehicle charged a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on April 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Capitol was briefly locked down after a person reportedly rammed a vehicle into multiple Capitol Hill police officers. One officer was killed and one was wounded. The suspect who exited the vehicle with a knife was fatally shot. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — One U.S. Capitol Police officer was dead and another injured Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol and struck the officers, according to law enforcement.

The officer who died was identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans by police. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years.  He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” said said Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.

The suspect in the vehicle was shot and killed, she said during a press conference. The suspect’s name has not been released.

Police said there did not appear to be a larger threat to the Capitol, though the investigation is continuing and it’s unclear what the suspect’s motive might have been. Members of Congress are on recess so the building is relatively empty.

The incident at the Capitol follows the Jan. 6 insurrection, when a pro-Trump mob descended on the building, leaving five people dead — including a Capitol Police officer — and hundreds injured. Added fencing that’s surrounded the perimeter of the Capitol complex since then was taken down just over a week ago.

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Some National Guard troops also remain to protect the Capitol.

Pittman said the person who drove into the barricade at the Capitol’s north entrance got out with a knife in hand, did not respond to verbal commands and lunged toward police, who  “fired upon the suspect.”

“Please keep the Capitol Police and first responders in your prayers as we try to understand the situation unfolding at the Capitol right now,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) tweeted.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) tweeted that his “heart goes out to the family members & friends of the @CapitolPolice officer who passed away. These officers put themselves in harm’s way & willingly face the possibility of making the ultimate sacrifice to keep our Capitol and democracy safe. I’m thankful for their service.”

A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that the Capitol will fly flags at half staff due to the death of the police officer.

President Joe Biden left earlier in the day for the presidential retreat at Camp David in northern Maryland.

Ariana Figueroa
Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance. Before joining States Newsroom, Ariana covered public health and chemical policy on Capitol Hill for E&E News. As a Florida native, she's worked for the Miami Herald and her hometown paper, the Tampa Bay Times. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and NPR. She is a graduate of the University of Florida.