US Capitol lockdown: One officer confirmed dead after motorist ploughed into police

The US Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in Friday’s attack at the Capitol complex, police have said. The acting chief of the Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman said the suspect jumped out of the vehicle brandishing a knife after he drove at the two officers at around 1pm local time (6pm GMT).

Both officers were rushed to hospital but one of the cops died shortly after being admitted.

It is not currently known what condition the second officer is in.

The suspect is also dead, having been shot by officers. 

Police said they did not yet know what had motivated the attacker, and they did not identify him.

They said it does not appear to be terror-related.

Ms Pittman said at a press conference: “The suspect did start lunging towards US Capitol police officers, at which time US Capitol police officers fired upon the suspect.

“At this time the suspect has been pronounced deceased.

“Two US capitol police officers were transported to two different hospitals and it is with a very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries.”

Forensic officers are currently at the scene trying to understand what happened this afternoon.

The FBI has also launched an investigation into the incident.

Robert Contee, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, said: “It does not appear to be terrorism-related but obviously we’ll continue to investigate.”

He added: “Clearly this was someone who was actively trying to just get at whoever or whatever – we just don’t know right now, so we have a responsibility to investigate that to get to the bottom of this.

“Whether the attack was at law enforcement, or whoever, we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of it and we’ll do that.”

The incident happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the flags at the US Capitol to be flown at half-staff in memory of the officer who died.

The Capitol building was plunged into lockdown as a precautionary measure as the attack was reported.

Staff working at the building were ordered to stay away from exterior windows and doors.

Those outside were instructed to seek cover.

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