President Joe Biden led a series of tributes to slain U.S. Capitol Police officer William ‘Billy’ Evans on Friday after Evans was killed in line of duty.
He and Jill Biden offered their condolences and the president ordered the flag at the White House to be lowered to half staff.
Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans was killed on Friday
‘We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,’ Biden said in a statement.
‘I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack. As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast,’ he said.
Biden ordered flags lowered at all public buildings and grounds until sunset, April 6, 2021.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff in Evans’ honor.
Evans died after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the Capitol building, officials said.
Evans was an 18-year veteran of the force.
‘It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant. Officer Evans had been a member of the United States Capitol Police for 18 years. He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers,’ acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.
Pelosi called Evans ‘a martyr for our democracy.’
‘May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our Democracy. May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time,’ she said in a statement.
At 1:02 pm, the driver plowed his blue Nissan Altima through the barrier near the Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill, smashing the two cops, before emerging from with a knife. He then lunged at other cops nearby, ignoring commands, and was shot. The suspect died at a hospital.
Members of Congress took to Twitter to express condolences and thank police for their service.
Friday’s incident comes less than three months after the January 6th MAGA riot on Capitol Hill, where officer Brian Sicknick died of injuries sustained in the attack and two officers committed suicide in the aftermath. Sicknick also had flags lowered in his honor and his remains lay in state in the Capitol rotunda.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff on Friday in tribute to U.S. Capitol Police officer William ‘Billy’ Evans who died in the line of duty
The suspect rammed a car into a security barrier on Capitol Hill on Friday, hitting two officers
Congress was not in session on Friday so lawmakers were back in their home states instead of in the Capitol building.
‘I’m heartbroken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family. I’m praying for the officer injured and his family. We’re in their debt We thank the Capitol Police, National Guard, & first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those inside,’ wrote Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
‘I am heartbroken that Officer William F. Evans was killed in the line of duty defending the Capitol. His name will go down in history for his selfless sacrifice,’ said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement. ‘The Senate is praying hard for the second injured officer and for Officer Evans’s family and friends. We could not be more grateful for the professionalism and heroism of the officers who neutralized this threat at the checkpoint and for the entire USCP force, who have had to endure so much in just a few short months. And we thank all the other first responders who quickly arrived on the scene.’
‘Please join me in prayer for the two Capitol Police officers and their families. They reacted quickly and bravely, as did all the other first responders at the scene. The whole country is pulling for them right now,’ wrote House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
‘My thoughts are with these brave officers and their families. They’ve sacrificed a tremendous amount over the last few months and we are forever indebted to them,’ said California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.
‘We are praying for the two USCP officers involved and the safety of all of our great men and women in blue that keep us all safe everyday. #BackTheBlue,’ wrote Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
‘Profound gratitude for those who protect our nation’s Capitol and who keep us safe, and profound sadness for Officer Billy Evans who has lost his life doing so,’ tweeted Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah.
‘Heidi and I extend our deepest condolences on the loss of one of the U.S. Capitol Police’s finest. We will continue to pray for the second officer in the hospital. Thank you to all of the brave men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police,’ wrote Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
‘Thank you to the Capitol Police for your dedication in protecting our Capitol. My wife and I are heartbroken over the death of this officer and praying for a speedy recovery for the injured. Please keep those who protect and serve in your thoughts and prayers,’ tweeted Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.