Two police officers were rammed by a car at a barricade at an access point to the U.S. Capitol Friday, killing one of the officers and injuring the other. The suspect in the incident was also killed.
Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters of the officer’s death at a briefing afterward.
“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said.
She also confirmed the suspect’s death. He had rammed his car into the officers at 1:02 p.m. and then exited his car and lunged at the officers, who then “fired upon the suspect,” Pittman told reporters.
Soon after 1 p.m., Capitol Police sent an initial alert to congressional staffers, warning them of an “external security threat.” Within about an hour and a half, police sent another alert saying that the threat had been “neutralized.”
The incident comes nearly three months after rioters overran the building in a deadly attack on January 6. The incident comes in the wake of the riot at the Capitol, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer. Two Capitol Police officers also died by suicide after the attack, and dozens of officers were injured.
After the January 6 rioting at the Capitol, fencing was erected around the Capitol complex, and thousands of National Guard troops were sent to Washington. That security fencing was, although a layer of inner fencing around the Capitol building itself remains in place.
The barricade where the incident occurred is a checkpoint on the Senate side of the Capitol and was in place before temporary security fencing was erected. There were fewer people at the Capitol Friday, since Congress is in recess; most lawmakers are in their home states. However, other congressional staff, as well as reporters and police, were in their offices.