Capitol Police officer killed in ramming attack to lie in honor in Rotunda
▶ Watch Video: Capitol Police force reeling after deadly car attack
Washington — U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed in the attack outside the Capitol last week, will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on April 13, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Tuesday. Evans was killed when a man rammed a vehicle into officers at a barricade outside the Capitol building on Friday.
“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful,” the Democratic leaders said in a statement. “It is now the great and solemn privilege of the House of Representatives and the Senate to convey the appreciation and the sadness of the Congress and Country for the heroic sacrifice of Officer Evans with a lying-in-honor ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.”
A ceremonial arrival will take place on Tuesday, April 13, at 10:30 a.m. on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, followed by a congressional tribute ceremony at 11 a.m., Schumer and Pelosi said. Members of the U.S. Capitol Police will have a viewing at noon, and members of Congress will be invited to attend from 12 p.m. through 6 p.m. A ceremonial departure will occur at 6:30 p.m. Attendance will be limited to invited guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is our hope that this tribute will be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans, particularly his children Logan and Abigail, as will the knowledge that so many Americans mourn with and pray for them at this sad time. May this tribute also be a source of comfort and an expression of gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police Force, which has awed our nation with their courage and resilience during this devastating time,” Schumer and Pelosi said.
U.S. Capitol Police released a statement from Evans’ family on Tuesday calling him “the best father, son, brother, and friend anyone could ever hope for.” The statement highlighted Evans’ relationship with his two children, Logan and Abigail.
“Their dad was their hero long before the tragic events of last week,” the statement said.
Evans was an 18-year veteran of the police force and was a member of the first responders unit, according to the department. The car’s driver, identified as 25-year-old Noah Green, struck Evans and Officer Ken Shaver on Friday. He then exited his vehicle and lunged toward the officers before he was shot. Green later died at the hospital.
Shaver was released from a Washington, D.C., hospital on Saturday. The extent of his injuries are unknown.
The incident on Friday came nearly three months after rioters overran the Capitol in a deadly attack on January 6. The riot resulted in the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Two Capitol Police officers also died by suicide after the attack, and dozens of officers were injured.
Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the Capitol Police Union, said Saturday that last week’s attack and the violent assault January 6 “have left our officers reeling,” and he urged lawmakers to boost security at the Capitol.
“We have now lost two officers in the line of duty this year,” he said in a statement. “Another officer has taken his own life and we have 80 officers who were seriously injured in the insurrection. Some of those injured officers may never return to duty.”
Following the January attack, fencing was erected around the Capitol complex and thousands of National Guard troops were sent to Washington. That security fencing was taken down last month, although a layer of inner fencing around the Capitol building itself remains in place.