One police officer has died after a violent incident at a transit station outside the Pentagon on Tuesday, prompting the building to temporarily lock down.
Pentagon officials announced Tuesday evening that a police officer was killed, adding the officer would be identified pending notification of next of kin.
"On behalf of everyone working at the Pentagon, and across the Department of Defense, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the Pentagon Force Protection Officer who died as a result of injuries he received this morning," Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal Pentagon admits 'tragic mistake' in strike that killed 10 civilians MORE said in a statement.
Austin said the officer "died in the line of duty, helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in -- and who visit -- the Pentagon on a daily basis. He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family, and known to us all as professional, skilled and brave."
"This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make. We are forever grateful for that service and the courage with which it is rendered," he added.
An investigation into the officer's death is underway. Austin said he would order flags to be flown at half-mast at the Pentagon to honor the officer.
The Associated Press, citing law enforcement officials, reported that the officer was stabbed during a burst of violence, though officials have not confirmed the circumstances surrounding his death.
Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse told reporters at a briefing Tuesday afternoon that the officer was attacked at the Metro Bus platform at about 10:37 a.m., and gunfire was exchanged.
He said there were “several casualties,” that the incident is "over," the scene is "secure" and there is "no continuing threat to our community."
Kusse and Pentagon press secretary John Kirby refused to confirm or deny reports that the officer was killed, or reveal information on how many people were injured in the incident, citing the “active ongoing investigation.”
Kusse said the information he had was “preliminary” and could “evolve," adding it would be “premature” to reveal additional details at that point.
“The situation has been resolved but the investigation must continue and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the integrity of that process,” Kusse said.
When pressed for additional details on the incident, Kusse said he “can’t compromise the ongoing investigation right now.”
The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident.
The Pentagon was put on lockdown earlier Tuesday morning following reports of gunshots being fired at a nearby Metro station.
Kirby told reporters that Austin was at the White House when the incident occurred.
Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight Manchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill MORE (D-Va.) and the Fairfax County Police Department released statements on Tuesday mourning the death of a Pentagon police officer.
“I’m incredibly saddened to learn about the passing of a Pentagon police officer, who was killed earlier this morning in a senseless act of violence outside the Pentagon. My heart goes out to the officer’s family and friends, as well as the entire Pentagon Police force,” Warner wrote in a statement on Twitter.
We mourn with law enforcement agencies near and far after the tragic loss of a @PFPAOfficial officer today. Our deepest sympathies are with the officer's family, fellow officers and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/vcQ5ILs3Hw— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 3, 2021
“We mourn with law enforcement agencies near and far after the tragic loss of a @PFPAOfficial officer today. Our deepest sympathies are with the officer's family, fellow officers and loved ones,” the Fairfax County Police Department wrote in a tweet.
I’m incredibly saddened to learn about the passing of a Pentagon police officer, who was killed earlier this morning in a senseless act of violence outside the Pentagon. My heart goes out to the officer’s family and friends, as well as the entire Pentagon Police force.— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) August 3, 2021
– This story was updated at 6:35 p.m.