By LOLITA C. BALDOR, ERIC TUCKER and MICHAEL BALSAMO
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon police officer died after being stabbed Tuesday throughout a burst of violence at a transit heart outdoors the constructing, and a suspect was shot by regulation enforcement and died on the scene, the Pentagon mentioned Tuesday.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. navy, was quickly positioned on lockdown after somebody attacked the officer on a bus platform shortly after 10:30 a.m. The following violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in “a number of casualties,” mentioned Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Drive Safety Company, which is chargeable for safety within the facility.
The deaths of the officer and the suspect had been first confirmed by officers who weren’t approved to debate the matter and spoke to The Related Press on situation of anonymity. The Fairfax County Police Division additionally tweeted condolences concerning the officer’s demise. Officers mentioned they consider two bystanders had been injured.
The suspect was recognized by a number of regulation enforcement officers as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia.
The officer was ambushed by Lanz, who ran at him and stabbed him within the neck, in keeping with two of the regulation enforcement officers. Responding officers then shot and killed Lanz. Investigators had been nonetheless attempting to find out a motive for the assault and had been digging into Lanz’s background, together with any potential historical past of psychological sickness or any cause he would possibly need to goal the Pentagon or law enforcement officials.
The officers couldn’t talk about the investigation publicly and spoke to AP on situation of anonymity.
Lanz had enlisted within the U.S. Marine Corps in October 2012 however was “administratively separated” lower than a month later and by no means earned the title Marine, the Corps mentioned in a press release.
The episode on a busy stretch of the Washington space’s transportation system jangled the nerves of a area already primed to be on excessive alert for violence and potential intruders outdoors federal authorities buildings, notably following the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol.
At a Pentagon information convention, Kusse declined to verify that the officer had been killed or present even fundamental details about how the violence had unfolded or what number of could be lifeless. He would solely say that an officer had been attacked and that “gunfire was exchanged.”
Kusse and different officers declined to rule out terrorism or present some other potential motive. However, Kusse mentioned the Pentagon complicated was safe and “we’re not actively on the lookout for one other suspect at the moment.” He mentioned the FBI was main the investigation.
“I can’t compromise the continuing investigation,” Kusse mentioned.
The FBI confirmed solely that it was investigating and there was “no ongoing menace to the general public” however declined to supply particulars or a attainable motive.
Later Tuesday, the Pentagon Drive Safety Company issued a press release confirming the lack of the officer, and Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his condolences and mentioned flags on the Pentagon shall be flown at half-staff.
“This fallen officer died within the line of obligation, serving to shield the tens of hundreds of people that work in — and who go to — the Pentagon each day,” Austin mentioned in a press release. “This tragic demise right this moment is a stark reminder of the hazards they face and the sacrifices they make. We’re perpetually grateful for that service and the braveness with which it’s rendered.”
Tuesday’s violence occurred on a Metro bus platform that’s a part of the Pentagon Transit Heart, a hub for subway and bus strains. The station is steps from the Pentagon constructing, which is in Arlington County, Virginia, simply throughout the Potomac River from Washington.
An Related Press reporter close to the constructing heard a number of gunshots, then a pause, then not less than one extra shot. One other AP journalist heard police yelling “shooter.”
A Pentagon announcement mentioned the power was on lockdown, however that was lifted after midday, apart from the realm across the crime scene.
Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, had been on the White Home assembly with President Joe Biden on the time of the capturing. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned Austin returned to the constructing and went to the Pentagon police operations heart to talk to the officers there.
It was not instantly clear whether or not any extra safety measures could be instituted within the space.
In 2010, two officers with the Pentagon Drive Safety Company had been wounded when a gunman approached them at a safety screening space. The officers, who survived, returned hearth, fatally wounding the gunman, recognized as John Patrick Bedell.
Related Press writers Colleen Lengthy in Washington and Matthew Barakat and Sagar Meghani in Arlington, Va., contributed to this report.