DC-area leaders react to Friday’s killing of an officer on Capitol Hill

Leaders from the D.C. area are saddened and shocked after a Capitol Police officer was killed Friday afternoon when a man drove his car into two officers guarding a Capitol Hill security barricade.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that he and first lady Jill Biden were “heartbroken” to learn about the attack, which killed Officer William Evans.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss,” Biden said. “We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.” He added that White House flags would be flown at half-staff.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered flags at the Capitol to fly at half-staff as well in honor of the Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police and a member of the first responders unit.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman announced the death of Evans at a news conference Friday as she held back tears.

“”It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Pittman said.

U.S. Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement, “This is a tragic situation that adds to a very difficult year for our membership.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said on Twitter he was “horrified” by the death of another Capitol Police officer killed in the line of duty, offering immediate assistance to D.C.

“Maryland stands ready to provide any assistance that is necessary,” Hogan said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the Commonwealth was sending strength and prayers to the men and women of the Capitol Police, the second officer who was injured during the attack and loved ones of the killed officer.

“Virginia is grateful for all you do, and we will always stand with you,” Northam said on Twitter.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said he was grateful to the “brave men and women” of the Capitol Police and the first responders working on the scene, offering prayers to the victims.

U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat from Virginia, said in a statement “my heart breaks” for the Capitol Police and Evans’ families.

“It is impossible to fathom what the Capitol Police community has been through over the past few months. These officers put themselves in jeopardy every day to keep all of us who work in the Capitol complex safe, and we are exceptionally grateful for their service.”

She added, “The officers and their families, those who work in and around the Capitol, and many of us in the National Capital Region have not recovered from the trauma of the January 6th attack. Today’s tragedy only reopened those wounds and caused those fears to resurface.

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer said Evans, the officer who was hurt and their fellow officers “displayed great courage and professionalism in protecting the Capitol.” Meanwhile, Hoyer’s fellow Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said his heart is with Capitol Police as they mourn the loss of Evans, and he wished the injured officer a speedy recovery.

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said of Evans, “We are forever indebted to him and mourn this terrible loss.”

“Officer Evans and his fellow officer, who also was wounded, showed incredible courage in the face of grave danger,” Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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