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Pentagon lifts lockdown after shooting outside – officer killed

US Pentagon building. (Dreamstime/TNS)
August 03, 2021

A Pentagon police officer was killed outside the Pentagon on Tuesday morning. The Pentagon later confirmed the officer’s death without providing details on the cause of death, but anonymous officials who spoke with The Associated Press said the officer was fatally stabbed.

At a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse said only that a Pentagon police officer “was attacked” on the metro platform, and an exchange of gunfire followed. Kusse confirmed “several injuries resulted from the incident,” but refused to confirm or deny additional details.

The Pentagon released a statement on behalf of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Tuesday evening officially confirming the officer’s death. “Pentagon Force Protection Agency mourns the tragic loss of a Pentagon Police Officer, killed during this morning’s incident at the Pentagon bus platform. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Officer’s family,” the statement said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also released a statement, saying, “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.”

“This fallen 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,” Austin said, adding that he ordered all flags at the Pentagon to be flown half-mast.

Kusse confirmed that law enforcement “are not actively looking for another suspect at this time,” refuting earlier reports alleging that a suspect may have been on the run.

The FBI is currently leading the investigation, Kusse said. He called the scene “safe and secure” and said there is “no continuing threat to our community.”

Videos shared to social media showed a massive police presence escorting a police transit van from the hospital. Officers were also seen saluting.

Such a display is typically conducted when an officer has passed away.

Just after noon, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency had said the lockdown at the Pentagon was lifted and the building reopened after the incident. Part of the metro platform remained closed, however.

The PFPA first confirmed the lockdown just after 11 a.m. ET, saying “an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center” had taken place, but did not provide additional details at the time.

Arlington Fire & EMS confirmed at 11:27 a.m. that “multiple patients” were encountered upon their response to the scene, which they earlier described as “a reported active violence incident.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomilson first tweeted of the incident at 10:49 a.m., saying police called it a “shooting event” that took place outside the Pentagon building on the metro bus platform.

Video from a webcam facing the Pentagon showed a large police presence. Twitter user Dave Stratter said CPR was being performed on two people at the bus platform, though officials have not yet confirmed those details.

Just before noon, the PFPA confirmed the scene was secure, but cautioned people to continue staying away from what is still considered “an active crime scene.”

Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe posted a map graphic showing the bus platform’s close proximity to the Pentagon building. The platform “is outside the Pentagon itself, but on Pentagon grounds,” Lamothe explained.

Washington D.C.’s Metrorail service info said trains were “temporarily bypassing Pentagon due to a police investigation outside.”

The Pentagon Metro Station was temporarily shut down March 16, 2020 over a stabbing that occurred on the platform. A victim was stabbed on the bus platform and later died at the hospital.

In March 2010, the Pentagon’s Metro platform also came under attack when a suspect armed with two guns opened fire at a security checkpoint and wounded two officers, the New York Times reported at the time. The suspect was subsequently shot and killed.