Biden orders White House flags flown at half-staff after Capitol attack
President Biden expressed condolences to the family of a Capitol Hill police officer who was killed on Friday and sought to honor him and others at the Capitol, ordering the White House flags to be flown at half-staff.
“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,” Biden said in a statement Friday afternoon, shortly after the slain officer had been identified.
“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,” he added.
“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,” Biden continued. “As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.”
The president, who is at Camp David for the weekend with his family, said that he has been briefed on the events at the Capitol by his homeland security adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and will continue to receive updates as the investigation into the attack proceeds.
A motorist rammed into one of the barriers surrounding the Capitol earlier Friday, wounding one officer and killing Evans, who has been on the Capitol Police force for 18 years.
Police fatally shot the suspect after he lunged toward the officers holding a knife, according to acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
The suspect has reportedly been identified as Noah Green, a 25-year-old man from Indiana.
The incident occurred less than three months after a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6., an attack that killed five, including a Capitol Police officer. The event prompted officials to significantly beef up law enforcement presence around the Capitol.
The outer fencing at the Capitol had just been taken down at the end of March.