U.S. Capitol Police have identified William “Billy” Evans as the officer who died after a Friday incident involving a driver who crashed into two officers and a barricade.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 2, 2021
“It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant,” Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years. He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Earlier, the Capitol Police said a man driving a blue sedan struck two officers and rammed into a barricade around 1:00 p.m. The man “lunged” or ran “aggressively” toward officers while holding a knife, Pittman said in an earlier news conference. At least one officer opened fire when the man “did not respond to verbal commands.”
NBC News and Fox News both identified the suspect as Noah Green, 25, of Indiana, citing multiple “senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation” (per NBC). Green recently lived in or had ties to Virginia. His social media presence, as reviewed by Fox News law enforcement sources, by NBC News, and by Law&Crime, indicates he was a follower of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
A second officer was injured. His identity and the details of his condition have not been released, but President Joe Biden said he was “fighting for his life.” Capitol Police said in an update after 6 p.m. that the second officer was in “stable” condition.
UPDATE: The other USCP officer who was struck by the car is in stable and non-threatening condition.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) April 2, 2021
Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS crews transported the suspect and one of the injured officers to the hospital. The other injured officer was transported via a U.S. Capitol Police vehicle.
The suspected died at about 1:30 on Friday afternoon, police said.
Authorities have not said exactly how Evans or the suspect died, though it is presumed the suspect died from being shot by the police.
Attorney General Merrick Garland released a statement on Friday evening.
The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, which is taking over the investigation into what occurred, followed the announcement of the fallen officer’s identity with its own condolences.
President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden released the following statement:
Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life. We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.
I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds.
I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack. As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-staff.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle also released statements.
A Facebook page attributed to reported suspect Noah Green spoke of the Book of Revelation and of former Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. One post said a “mother wheel,” a UFO or spaceship important to Nation of Islam beliefs, was “present here in America.”
“The Minister is here to save me and the rest of humanity, even if it means facing death,” reads a March 17 post on a Facebook profile attributed to Green.
“We have a little time,” the posts concluded at 9:13 a.m. “Peace.”
The page disappeared shortly after the events in Washington, D.C. unfolded. Law&Crime reviewed some of the content on the page before it disappeared.
Earlier, at 1:51 a.m. on March 17, the posts indicated that Green had been having a difficult time.
“To be honest these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” a page-long missive said. “I am currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey. I haven’t had much to lean on the past few months, I’ve been faced with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, and diminution of fruit.”
The posts said Green had obtained “a well paying job straight out of college” and had “pursued a graduate degree . . . despite not growing up in the best of circumstances.” They said his career goals were to help “communities of [B]lack and brown here in the United States.”
“There is much confusion in this day and age in my perspective,” he continued. “The ongoing COVID crisis, unemployment, rising National Debt, division within the political sphere, rumors of war and the like. But one thing I’m assured everyone can lean on, as I’ve leaned on, is faith in the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as the man who can carry us through the dark hour.”
“I am unsure if I’ll ever be afforded that opportunity, but I wanted to write this note for two purposes: to give everyone an update, and in hopes that the note may somehow reach the Minister,” it said in its conclusion. “I encourage everyone to study this man and his teacher, the exalted Christ, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Please repost and share.”
He signed the note “[p]eace and blessings” from “Brother Noah X.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Nation of Islam a hate group which promulgates a “theology of innate black superiority over whites” and “deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric.” In sum, the SPLC said the organization and “its leaders have earned . . . a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.” Neither the Nation of Islam or Farrakhan have tweeted about the Washington, D.C. incident.
[image via U.S. Capitol Police]
[Editor’s note: this piece has been updated to contain additional detail about the reported suspect.]
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