House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff in honor of a Capitol Police officer who died after a person drove a car into a security barricade near the Senate side of the building on Friday.
“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.
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 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 and rammed into the 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, killing him” 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.
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.
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.
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. The process of lowering the flags may take longer than usual because of the Capitol’s current lockdown status.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) April 2, 2021