Police officers stand near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP
Gulf Today Report
A Capitol Police officer was killed on Friday after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the US Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife.
It was the second line-of-duty death this year for a department still struggling to heal from the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Video shows the driver of the crashed car emerging with a knife in his hand and starting to run at the pair of officers, Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters. Authorities shot the suspect, who died at a hospital.
"I just ask that the public continue to keep US Capitol Police and their families in your prayers," Pittman said. "This has been an extremely difficult time for US Capitol Police after the events of Jan. 6 and now the events that have occurred here today.”
Television footage showed a blue sedan that had crashed into a security barrier on one of the streets leading to Congress, as what appeared to be the injured officers were loaded onto gurneys and into ambulances.
No information was immediately available on the identity or condition of the driver.
The incident came amid tightened security in Washington after the January 6 insurrection by supporters of then-president Donald Trump.
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the assault inspired by Trump's groundless claims that he had lost the November presidential election due to massive fraud.
Since then security officials have said there is an ongoing threat from extreme right groups and Trump supporters.
More than 300 people have been charged in the January attack, including members of armed extremists groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and 100 more are expected to be charged, according to Justice Department court filings.
In recent weeks some security has been loosened, with the number of armed National Guard troops at the Capitol reduced and a security fence that created a broad perimeter around the Capitol complex removed.
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US President Joe Biden called on Tuesday for a US ban on assault weapons, after the country's second mass shooting in a week left 10 people dead in Colorado and sparked urgent new calls for gun control.
The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will rise again to power on March 4. That was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to Jan.20.
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He added, “What we experience today will become something of the past tomorrow. Joining university and getting a degree was the ultimate end of our parents, but I assure you that education will never come to an end."
In a flash of a second, the men started to climb the pipe attached to the building forming a human chain.