Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor slain officer

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff on Friday in honor of a Capitol Police officer who died after a person crashed a car into a security barricade near the Senate side of the building.

“Speaker Pelosi has ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff due to the death of a U.S. Capitol Police Officer in the of duty today,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said on Twitter.

“The process of lowering the flags may take longer than usual because of the Capitol’s current lockdown status,” Hammill noted.

The slain Capitol Police officer, who has not been named, and the suspect who drove the car into the security barricade both died Friday afternoon.

A second Capitol Police officer who was hit by the car has been hospitalized to treat injuries, according to police.

Capitol Police said the suspect rammed into two officers with his car. After hitting the barricade, the suspect exited the car and started to “lunge” toward other officers at the security checkpoint, according to acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.

“He did not respond to verbal commands. The suspect did start lunging toward U.S. Capitol Police officers, at which time U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect,” Pittman said at a press briefing.

“The suspect has been pronounced deceased. Two U.S. Capitol Police officers were transported to two different hospitals, and it is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce [one of the] officers has succumbed to his injuries,” she said.

Capitol security officials finished removing the outer perimeter fencing last week, which had stretched blocks away from the main building. A layer of inner perimeter fencing still remains around the Capitol building.

The suspect in Friday’s incident attempted to breach a gap in the fencing near the Senate side of the Capitol where there is a security checkpoint and a barrier that must be lowered by the police for cars to pass through.

Pelosi previously ordered the Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff in January in honor of another Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who died in the line of duty from the Jan. 6 riot.

Congressional leaders later granted Sicknick the rare distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

At least three Capitol Police officers have died in the last three months. In addition to Sicknick and the officer who died on Friday, another officer, Howard Liebengood, died of suicide in the days after the Jan. 6 attack.

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