Capitol officer killed after suspect rams barricade identified; Biden orders flags at half staff

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UPDATE:

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has ordered that U.S. flags at the White House be lowered to half-staff until April 6 in honor of a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was killed Friday after a man rammed a car into a security checkpoint.

Biden says he and first lady Jill Biden are heartbroken over the death of officer William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police force. A second Capitol police officer was injured in the attack, while the suspect was killed.

Biden says he knows what a difficult time it’s been for the Capitol and all who work there and protect it. Friday’s incident came about three months after the Jan. 6 insurrection that killed a Capitol police officer and four other people.

Biden released the statement from the Camp David president retreat, where he is spending the weekend.

He expressed gratitude to the Capitol Police and the National Guard troops for responding quickly to the attack.

EARLIER:

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A Capitol police officer is dead after a car rammed into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon. The driver got out of the vehicle while appearing to brandish a knife before being shot and killed by authorities, police said.

The two Capitol Police officers and the driver were taken to the hospital. One officer and the suspect have since died, police said in a Friday afternoon media briefing.

The crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess.

U.S. Capitol Police officers stand near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Capitol Police said that the driver rammed a vehicle into two of its officers. The law enforcement officials told the AP that the driver then got out of the car with what appeared to be a knife. It’s unclear which member of law enforcement shot the suspect.

One of the officers who was injured was taken by police car to the hospital; the other was being transported by emergency medical crews, the officials said.

The officials could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings. Video and photos showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 02: National Guard stand guard after a vehicle charged a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on April 02, 2021 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Capitol was locked down after a person reportedly rammed a vehicle into two Capitol Hill police officers. A suspect was apprehended. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The incident occurred about 100 yards from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed as the Capitol has started to open up after the Jan. 6 riots.

The security checkpoint is typically used by senators and staff on weekdays. Congress is currently on recess.

Police officers gather near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Photo and video from the scene show a dark-colored sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier, and a police K9 inspecting the vehicle. Law enforcement and paramedics could be seen caring for at least one unidentified individual. A helicopter was seen hovering overhead and observers were ordered to leave the area.

President Joe Biden had just departed the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred. As customary, he was traveling with a member of the National Security Council Staff who was expected to brief him on the incident.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report, with reporting by Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long/AP.

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