A US Capitol officer was killed and another injured Friday after a suspect drove his vehicle into them and then emerged armed with a knife, authorities said.
After ramming his vehicle, the suspect got out of the car "with a knife in hand" and started to "lunge toward" the officers, authorities said. He was then shot by at least one officer and later died of his injuries.
Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman announced Friday afternoon that the officer killed was William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force and a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responders Unit.
Jason LaForest, a childhood friend, told NPR that Evans was a loving father who played sports and had fun traveling with his kids.
"Billy's a guy who could make a trip to the dump look like a truly good time, and he certainly made every moment count with his children," LaForest said.
The attack comes months after an angry mob of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol building, resulting in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Two men have been charged with assaulting the officer during the riot.
At an earlier news conference, Pittman appeared to choke up before confirming the deadly attack.
"This has been an extremely difficult time for US Capitol police after the events of Jan. 6, and now the event that has occurred," she said.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was "heartbroken" to learn of the attack and that he had ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.
"We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it," he said.
Video and images from reporters at the scene showed a large police presence at the Capitol, including officers attending to someone who was on the ground near an entrances on Constitution Avenue.
It was not clear what injuries were suffered by the two Capitol Police officers. Pittman told reporters the suspect and police did not "wrestle" when he exited the vehicle, but was shot as he ran "aggressively" toward them.
Reporters on the scene also saw a US Park Police helicopter land on the east side of the Capitol as the building went into lockdown for what was reported to be an “external threat.”
Robert Contee, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters there did not appear to be an ongoing threat after Friday's attack, but said investigators were still looking for a possible motive.
"We need to obviously understand the motivation behind this senseless act," he said.
Meanwhile, many law enforcement officers working in DC are still reeling from the events of Jan. 6.
"Just a crazy world we live in, but we are resilient and we just keep it moving," one senior officer who works near the attack told BuzzFeed News.
Shortly after the attack, some members of Congress began to tweet in support of the US Capitol Police and offer prayers, including Rep. Val Demings of Florida and Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.
Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California told CNN that he was working on the Hill on Friday but had stepped out for lunch when he started getting "frantic calls" from his staff to stay away.
"Honestly, it did bring back memories of Jan. 6," he said.
Pittman repeatedly asked that Americans keep Capitol Police officers and families in their "thoughts and prayers," saying that "it has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for us, but we will get through this."
Shortly after the officer's death was announced, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered that US Capitol building flags be flown at half-staff.