Pelosi calls slain Capitol officer a ‘martyr for our democracy’

Twitter/Capitol Police

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday mourned the death of the police officer who was killed during an attack outside of the Capitol earlier in the day.

“Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy,” the speaker said in a statement.

Authorities say that earlier in the afternoon, a man crashed his car into a barrier outside the Capitol complex, hitting two officers. He then exited the car with a knife and refused to respond to verbal commands before being fatally shot by police. 

The assault came less than three months after the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, which left five people dead including a Capitol Police officer. Two other officers took their own lives after the January riot.

“Members of Congress, staff and Capitol workers, and indeed all Americans are united in appreciation for the courage of the U.S. Capitol Police,” Pelosi said Friday. “May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our Democracy. May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time.”

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement that Evans had been an officer with the force for 18 years.

Authorities are investigating the motives for the attack, with Pelosi saying Congress will assist if needed.

She has ordered flags around the Capitol flown at half-staff to honor Evans. 

“Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our Country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful,” she said.

Later on Friday evening, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the leader had spoken with Evans’s family. 

“Majority Leader Schumer spoke with Officer Evans’s family this evening. He said the whole Senate mourns Billy’s loss and appreciates his bravery. He also told Officer Evans’s family they will forever be a part of our Capitol Hill community,” the spokesperson said. 

Updated 9:04 p.m.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report. 

Tags Capitol police Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi

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