WASHINGTON — The band of razor wire-topped fencing around the Capitol had recently come down. The heavy National Guard presence had begun to thin.
But on Friday, not quite three months after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, a car came careening midday onto the Capitol grounds, slamming into two Capitol Police officers and leaving one of them dead and the other injured.
This time, the source of the violence was not an angry pro-Trump mob, but a lone driver, armed with a knife, who had recently told friends he had left his job and had “afflictions.” After crashing his car and menacing officers, he was shot and killed.
“It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries,” Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, said during a news conference near the scene. “This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police, after the events of Jan. 6 and now the events that have occurred here today.”
said Officer Evans’s name would “go down in history for his selfless sacrifice.”
The violence came on a quiet afternoon just as the Capitol had seemed to be getting back to normal after the trauma of Jan. 6, the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries, and months of heightened security measures.
In a matter of minutes on Friday, the entire complex was put on lockdown for over an hour, as reporters and Capitol staff members were left to press up against windows to catch sight of the unfolding chaos with little information about the scale of the threat.
A helicopter swept across the plaza in front of the Capitol, landing only feet away from the building. At least one of the officers was medevacked to a hospital, according to law enforcement officials, and a National Guard quick-response team and the local police were on hand at the already heavily fortified complex.
A task force appointed by Ms. Pelosi and led by Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré has recommended hiring more than 800 Capitol Police officers, developing mobile fencing around the complex and changing the opaque board that oversees the police force to allow the chief of the agency to quickly summon the National Guard during an emergency.