September 23, 2021

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Pentagon police officer killed in attack outside Department of Defense headquarters – Fox News

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A Pentagon police officer was killed in a “shooting event” outside the Defense Department headquarters Tuesday morning, a defense official confirmed to Fox News.

The Associated Press reported that the officer was stabbed by the suspect, who was shot and killed at the scene by law enforcement. 

The suspect was later identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia. Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Jim Stenger told Fox News that Lanz was enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2012 but administratively separated on Nov. 2, 2012, and never earned the title Marine. 

Police vehicles are seen outside the Pentagon Metro area Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon is on lockdown after multiple gunshots were fired near a platform by the facility's Metro station. 
Police vehicles are seen outside the Pentagon Metro area Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon is on lockdown after multiple gunshots were fired near a platform by the facility’s Metro station.  (AP)

The police officer has not yet been identified. The connection between the shooting and the stabbing of the officer was not immediately clear. 

The building went into lockdown on Tuesday morning after a shooting occurred near a platform by the facility’s Pentagon Metro station. According to the police, all of the entrances to the Pentagon have now been secured. 

The Arlington Fire Department had confirmed to Fox News that there were multiple people down at the site of the shooting, but wouldn’t comment on their conditions as the scene was still active at the time.

Department of Defense employees received an electronic warning on their computers and an overhead announcement was given for all Pentagon personnel to stay inside due to the police activity and to not venture outside.

The D.C. Metro Twitter account confirmed the police presence at the Pentagon, saying trains would be “temporarily bypassing” the Pentagon stop.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) also confirmed the shooting incident on their official Twitter account.

“The Pentagon currently is on lock down due to an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center. We are asking the public to please avoid the area,” the PFPA tweeted on Tuesday. “More information will be forthcoming.”

An Associated Press reporter near the building reportedly heard multiple gunshots.

At 11:57 a.m. EDT, the PFPA announced in a tweet that the scene was “secure” but “still an active crime scene,” requesting “that everyone stay away from the Metro rail entrance and bus platform area” and noting that transportation “at the Pentagon is diverted to Pentagon City.”

As of 12:12 p.m., the lockdown at the Pentagon was lifted via a loudspeaker announcement, however, the Metro station, bus stop and one of the Pentagon exits remain closed.

Neither Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin nor Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley was present at the Pentagon during the shooting. Both were with President Biden at their weekly Tuesday meeting at the White House.

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“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,” Austin said in a statement later Tuesday.  

Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse, right, accompanied by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, left, speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.
Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse, right, accompanied by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, left, speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP)

“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,” Austin said. “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 he had ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on the Pentagon Reservation in honor of the fallen officer. 

A Pentagon police officer was involved in the shooting, according to a Department of Defense official. Multiple shots were fired, but it was unclear by whom and it wasn’t immediately clear what happened or what kind of weapon the suspect had.

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Pentagon Chief Woodrow Kusse told Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the Pentagon is “not actively looking” for another suspect at this time. 

“The scene is secure. And most importantly, there’s no continuing threat to our community.”

Kusse also said that the FBI is leading the ongoing investigation.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene

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