Family of slain Pentagon attacker apologizes
The family of the slain man accused of killing a police officer Tuesday at the Pentagon Transit Center apologized to the officer’s loved ones.
In a statement provided to CNN on Friday, the family of Austin William Lanz said it is “devastated by the loss of our son, Austin, and of officer George Gonzalez.”
“We want officer Gonzalez’s family and friends to know that we are so sorry and heartbroken for them. We will forever be thankful for his service and dedication to the safety and well-being of our country,” the family said.
The FBI said Lanz got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center on Tuesday morning and “immediately, without provocation” attacked Gonzalez, a Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer.
After Gonzalez was stabbed, “a struggle ensued” during which he was mortally wounded. Lanz then shot himself with the officer’s service weapon.
The Pentagon was placed on lockdown after a civilian bystander was injured during the incident. That person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and later released.
Jimmy Berry, who is representing Lanz’s family, told CNN that he was in the D.C. area this week with his father for a “medical reason.”
In the statement, Lanz’s family explained that the last few months of his life were “overcome with many mental health challenges,” but he was never diagnosed with any mental health conditions.
“While we sit in great disbelief over the events that occurred and continue to mourn for lives lost, we are hopeful that this tragedy can help bring greater awareness and change to the growing mental health crisis in our country,” the statement said.
“Our family would greatly appreciate privacy during this most difficult time as we continue to grieve,” it added.
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