The suspect accelerated the car against police officers and the protective barriers that limit traffic in the vicinity of the US Congress. Then he got out of the vehicle with a knife in his hand and advanced on the guards, who responded with gunshots.
The attack took place near the barriers in the northern part of the complex, about 100 meters from Congress, just after one o’clock in the afternoon.
The two policemen, wounded, were taken to the hospital. One of them, William Evans, died. Evans had worked for 18 years as a Congressional police officer. The 25-year-old suspect was killed at the scene of the attack.
The police chief said the suspect was not known to Congress security and was not registered. And that, although the investigation is still ongoing, he believes it is not about terrorism.
The Capitol was closed and surrounded by soldiers of the National Guard for two hours. Deputies and senators were not there because Congress is on Easter break. But hundreds of employees and journalists were working on the building.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Congressional flags to be placed half-mast out of respect for the murdered policeman.
American President Joe Biden was also not in the American capital. He released a note saying he was heartbroken when he learned of the policeman’s death.
The transport of the body of the police officer from the hospital to the Instituto Médico Legal was accompanied by a procession of dozens of vehicles.
The attack came less than three months after the invasion of Congress by supporters of former President Donald Trump. And just over a week after the police removed barbed wire barriers from the Congress region.
On January 6, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Congress building, threatened and assaulted police officers, stole documents and computers, and forced the police to hastily remove then vice-president Mike Pence and deputies and senators from voting sessions to endorse the outcome of the presidential elections. A policeman was killed in that attack. Since then, more than 400 invaders have been arrested.
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