The slain officer, whose name is yet to be revealed, was a Pentagon Force Protection Agency member.
What We Know:
- On August 3, officials placed the Pentagon under lockdown following spokesperson Lt. Col. Uriah Orland’s statement of a “shooting event” nearby at the Metro bus platform. The Pentagon police lifted the lockdown roughly an hour and a half later after they secured the scene.
- Woodrow Kusse, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency chief, reported that shortly after 10:30 a.m., a man violently attacked the officer at the platform. The perpetrator, William Laz, ran at the officer and stabbed him in the neck. Responding officers then fired at Laz, which ended in “several casualties.” Currently, investigators are still determining a motive for the attacks. In addition, they began research on Laz’s background, including any history of mental illness for reasons to attack the Pentagon or its protection agency.
- Kusse ruled out terrorism as a motive. He deemed this important to note, especially as the area around the Pentagon is on high alert for violence and intruders after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Kusse said the community did not face continuing threats, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would lead the inquiry on Laz. He also does not think there is another suspect involved.
“The Pentagon and the Pentagon reservation are safe and secure,” declared Kusse.
- Additionally, Kusse chose not to provide any further details on the fallen officer. Regardless, the Pentagon paid tribute to the cop by flying the flags half-staff. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his condolences in a statement in which he wrote the officer died in the line of duty to help protect the Pentagon. Austin added that the person’s death serves as a reminder of the dangers taken and sacrifices made by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. He continued by expressing gratitude for the courage and commitment of the Pentagon’s police force.
This is not the first time the Pentagon and the Metro station faced attacks. In March 2020, a man was fatally stabbed on the Metro platform, causing the location to shut down for 5.5 hours. Alongside this, a gunman wounded two officers after opening fire at the Pentagon entrance in 2010.