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United States: what we know about the attack in which a police officer died, near the Capitol, in Washington

A new attack on the outskirts of the Capitol took place Friday, April 2, in Washington (United States). UA young man threw his car at police officers, killing one officer and injuring another, before being shot. President Joe Biden said to himself “devastated” by this act, which comes nearly three months after the murderous assault on the seat of Congress.

A ram car attack

At midday on Friday, a driver rushed a blue sedan at Capitol Hill police officers. “The suspect hit two of our officers with his car”, then hit a barrier, said Washington Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman. The Capitol was placed on alert for a few hours and the National Guard was deployed. The police services lifted the device once the security of the perimeter was established at the end of the afternoon. The vehicle was also withdrawn during the day, after initial findings made by investigators.

The Capitol enclosure had been placed under very high protection after the assault on January 6, but the security barriers had recently been removed. A small perimeter remained in place, tightened around the building which houses the Congress. Elected officials on parliamentary recess for a week, were not present at the scene. However, some of their teams, employees, journalists and police were on site and witnessed the attack.

A policeman succumbed to his injuries

Police officer William Evans died in hospital from his injuries after being struck by the vehicle. Father of two children, he worked in the police force for 18 years. He is the second US officer to die on duty since the start of the year, following the death of Brian D. Sicknick, during the assault on January 6.

Another policeman was hit by the vehicle and was taken care of by the emergency services. Seriously injured by the shock, he is now in stable condition, out of danger, investigators said.

The suspect shot dead by the police

After hitting a security barrier, the man behind the wheel of the sedan stopped his course and threatened the police present. “At that point, the suspect got out of the vehicle with a knife in his hand” and “began to walk towards the officers”, specified the Chief of Police at the Capitol in Washington. He was shot dead by police at around 1:30 p.m. local time.

Police have not disclosed his identity, but several US media claim it is Noah R. Green, a 25-year-old black man from Indiana unknown to the police. His brother, questioned by the Washington post*, explains that the driver was having “drug use and paranoia”. He adds that his family was “worried about her mental health”.

According to information from New York Times*, the suspect claims on Facebook as a follower of the theories of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the movement “Nation of Islam “, known for its anti-Semitic remarks. The social network reacted on Friday evening and suspended the suspect’s accounts, as well as “any content that praises, supports, or represents the attack or the suspect”. Noah R. Green has also graduated in finance since 2019, as confirmed by the university Christophe Newport (Virginia) to AFP.

“No link with terrorism”

Washington Police Chief Robert Contee was quick to clarify that the attack did not appear linked to terrorism, but of course we will continue to investigate “. However, the investigators did not “identified the attacker’s motives”, report it New York Times*. “There are still many elements to be clarified”, said Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States.

This is the second attack on the US Congress building, after an assault by pro-Trump activists on January 6, when elected officials gathered to confirm the results of the presidential election. “Jill and I are devastated to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint at the United States Capitol.”, reacted US President Joe Biden. “We know how hard times are for the Capitol, for all those who work there and those who protect it”, he continued, ordering the flags to be half-masted on all federal public buildings in the country.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also paid tribute to the dead policeman, “martyr for our democracy”. “Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect the Capitol and our country.”

* Links followed by an asterisk refer to articles in English.

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