Pentagon Metro violence: Suspect who allegedly stabbed, killed officer identified, AP says
WASHINGTON - A law enforcement officer has died after he was stabbed during a "burst of violence" in the area of the Metro bus platform that is part of the Pentagon Transit Center, according to the Associated Press.
In addition, at least one suspect in the incident died at the scene. The suspect was identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia. The officer has not yet been identified.
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The incident erupted around 10:37 a.m. on Tuesday. Police say there was an exchange of gunfire during the incident, resulting in "several casualties," said Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which is responsible for security in the facility.
The officer was ambushed by Lanz, who ran at him and stabbed him in the neck, according to two of the law enforcement officials. Responding officers then shot and killed Lanz.
Investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the attack and were digging into Lanz's background, including any potential history of mental illness or any reason he might want to target the Pentagon or police officers.
Lanz had enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in October 2012 but was "administratively separated" less than a month later and never earned the title Marine, the Corps said in a statement.
During a mid-afternoon press conference, officials said that the incident had been resolved and there was no further threat. They declined to address whether a suspect they were looking for had been caught.
Officials also declined to say whether there were additional suspects but stressed that the scene was secure.
"We are not actively looking for another suspect," said Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse. "We believe, my agency, my department believes that this reservation and community and the people we serve are safe and secure right now."
Kusse also said it is premature to say if this was a terrorist attack and the motive remains unclear.
Public safety blogger Dave Statter has a view of the Pentagon from his home and heard the gunshots Tuesday morning. He got video of the scene.
"I can see all the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police converging on the transit center," Statter said. "And I look closer and there’s a person down on the ground, blood all around them in front of a bus. Eventually, I see there’s a second person to the right."
Listening to his police scanner, Statter said he realized Arlington police and fire hadn’t been dispatched. Seven minutes after the attack he heard U.S. Park Police asking Arlington police about "reports of shots fired and one down at the Pentagon metro."
Arlington police reply that Pentagon police verified shots were fired but did not request any assistance from county police or fire.
A spokesman for Arlington Fire confirms to FOX 5 they weren’t dispatched until 13 minutes after the attack at 10:50. He said fire crews arrived six minutes later.
This is what went out over police radio at 10:50: "Just FYI, we are getting requests from Pentagon for an active shooter on their platform."
"I would think something like this that you would get fire and EMS going right away even if they have to stage for safety at a distance," said Statter. "But you dispatch them right away."
A spokesperson for Pentagon police said she couldn’t comment on the delay, saying it was part of an open investigation.
The FBI is leading that investigation.
According to FOX News, 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.