Pentagon confirms officer killed in attack outside building

Washington — A Pentagon police officer was killed Tuesday morning in an incident at the Metro bus platform outside the building, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency confirmed. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that investigators at this point believe that there was an altercation in which the suspect stabbed the police officer. 

The law enforcement sources said there appeared to have been a tussle over the officer’s weapon and the weapon went off. The suspect was fatally shot, the sources said.

Woodrow Kusse, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency’s chief of Pentagon Police, told reporters during a press briefing the attack occurred around 10:37 a.m., and officers were alerted by a radio call that an “incident was underway.”

The encounter, which Kusse said resulted in “several casualties,” caused the Pentagon to go into lockdown for roughly an hour because of what the Pentagon Force Protection Agency said was a “shooting event” near the building’s Metro transit center.

The incident, Kusse said, is over, and “most importantly, there is no continuing threat to our community.” The FBI is leading the investigation into the attack.

“The Pentagon and the Pentagon reservation are safe and secure,” he said.

Law enforcement officers patrol the entrance of the Pentagon on August 3, 2021. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Kusse declined to provide further details on the casualties or confirm reports a Pentagon police officer had died. He also did not provide information on the suspect, whose identity is unknown, including whether the person was attempting to enter the Pentagon. Law enforcement is “not actively looking for another suspect at this time,” Kusse said.

Defense Secretary  Austin said Tuesday that he ordered that flags on the Pentagon Reservation be flown at half staff, and the investigation remains underway. 

“On behalf of everyone working at the Pentagon, and across the Department of Defense, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the Pentagon Force Protection Officer who died as a result of injuries he received this morning,” Lloyd said in a statement. “… This fallen officer died in the line of duty, helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in — and who visit — the Pentagon on a daily basis.”

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency asked members of the public just after 11 a.m. to avoid the area, and the Arlington County Fire Department said on Twitter its units were “responding to a reported active violence incident” near the Pentagon’s Metro stop. Arlington County first responders encountered “multiple patients,” the fire department said.

Warnings sounded on intercoms throughout the facility telling all those inside to remain indoors “due to police activity outside.” 

Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley were not at the Pentagon during the time of the incident, a U.S. defense official said, but were at the White House for a regularly scheduled meeting.

About an hour after the Pentagon Force Protection Agency announced the lockdown, citing “an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center,” the agency said the “scene of the incident is secure” but remains an active crime scene. 

“We request that everyone stay away from the Metro rail entrance and bus platform area,” it said on Twitter.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency announced just before 12:15 p.m. that the lockdown was lifted and the facility reopened.

Pat Milton, Andres Triay and Eleanor Watson contributed to this report.