Pentagon police officer taken to GW Hospital after Pentagon shooting

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor

A procession of Metropolitan Police Department officers left the GW Hospital Tuesday, believed to be transporting the body of a Pentagon police officer who was killed in a shooting near a bus platform earlier in the morning.

Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.

A Pentagon police officer was taken to the GW Hospital after he was fatally stabbed in a violent incident outside the Pentagon building Tuesday, according to local and national news reports.

Pentagon Force Protection Agency Chief Woodrow Kusse said at a press conference that a suspect attacked the officer on the Pentagon Metrobus platform at around 10:37 a.m., one of “several casualties” during the incident. The agency confirmed in a tweet Wednesday that officer George Gonzalez died in the attack.

Kusse declined to comment on the officer’s condition during the Tuesday press conference, but national and local news outlets reported that the officer died of his injuries at the GW Hospital before U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers transported his body from the facility in a black van during a procession.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office tweeted Wednesday that Gonzalez was fatally stabbed by Austin William Lanz – a 27-year-old from Acworth, Georgia – who then shot himself with Gonzalez’s service weapon, dying at the scene. Another civilian at the scene was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the FBI.

An MPD spokesperson declined to comment on the incident, saying the case is outside of the department’s jurisdiction. A PFPA spokesperson also declined to comment on the officer’s condition.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement “during a burst of violence.” The AP report states that “officials who were not authorized to discuss the matter” confirmed the deaths of the officer and suspect.

The Pentagon was placed under lockdown shortly after 10:30 a.m. after gunshots were fired near the Metrobus platform outside the facility, according to AP, and the University issued a GW Advisory at about 11:21 a.m., announcing police activity near the Pentagon Metro Station.

“Police activity at the Pentagon Metro Station,” the advisory states. “Avoid Area. GW campuses are not directly impacted. Report suspicious activity to GWPD.”

Officials sent out a second advisory shortly before 1 p.m. with a notification about police activity near the GW Hospital.

“Increased police presence near GW Hospital,” the advisory states. “23rd St NW closed from Washington Circle to G St. No connection or threat to campus.”

The AP reported that the suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement at the scene.

The lockdown at the Pentagon was lifted at about 12:13 p.m., according to a tweet from PFPA. Kusse said the Pentagon building and its reservation were “safe and secure” with no active search for the suspect.

Editor’s note:
This post was updated to reflect that the Pentagon and FBI confirmed the deaths of Officer George Gonzalez and Austin William Lanz, which was released after the time of publication.

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