Apr 2, 2021
Capitol Police Press Conference on Capitol Vehicle Attack Transcript April 2
U.S. Capitol Police held a press conference on April 2, 2021 to address the vehicle attack that took place at the US Capitol. One Capitol police officer was killed and another was injured. The suspect was shot and killed. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Tim Barber: (00:15)
Morning I’m Tim Barber with the Public Information Office for the US Capitol Police Department. You’re going to be hearing from Chief Yogananda Pittman with the Capitol Police, as well as Chief Contee with MPD.
Yogananda Pittman: (00:32)
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman for the United States Capitol Police. It is what a heavy heart that I come here this afternoon to shed some light on the incident that occurred at the United States Capitol. At approximately one-zero-two hour this afternoon, a suspect entered what we refer to as the North Barricade of the Capitol. The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers, and then hit the North Barricade barrier.
Yogananda Pittman: (01:15)
At such time, the suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand. Our officers then engaged that suspect. He did not respond to verbal commands. The suspect did start lunging toward US Capitol Police officers, at which time US Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect.
Yogananda Pittman: (01:42)
At this time, the suspect has been pronounced deceased. Two US Capitol Police officers were transported to two different hospitals. And it is what a very, very heavy heart that I announce, one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries. We are not able to release any information, names, age, date of birth or anything of that nature at this time, because we still have to notify the next of kin.
Yogananda Pittman: (02:20)
I just asked that the public continue to keep US Capitol Police and their families in your prayers. This has been an extremely difficult time for US Capitol Police, after the events of January 6th and now the events that have occurred here today. So I ask that you keep our US Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers.
Yogananda Pittman: (02:48)
At this time, I’m going to turn it over to the Metropolitan Police Chief, Mr. Robert Contee, for the Metropolitan Police Department’s portion of this investigation. Thank you.
Robert Contee: (03:08)
Good afternoon, I’m Robert Contee, Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. Our members responded to the US Capitol today just after 1:00 PM to investigate an officer involved shooting. At this time, the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide division as well as our internal affairs division will now take over the investigation with respect to the shooting death that occurred as well as the officer’s death.
Robert Contee: (03:35)
There’s not a lot of information that we can release to the public at this time, but we certainly will be working very closely with our partners at the US Capitol Police. At this time, I just want to extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the entire Metropolitan Police Department to all of the officers at the United States Capitol Police for their service, and unfortunately for the loss of life that have occurred here today at the United States Capitol Police.
Speaker 4: (04:05)
Chief, is there an ongoing threat here on Capitol Hill or in the neighborhood? What can you tell residents that live here as well as folks that work in this area?
Robert Contee: (04:12)
At this time, it does not appear to be an ongoing threat. Obviously, we’re in the very early stages of our investigation. We need to, obviously, understand the motivation behind this senseless act. So the Metropolitan Police Department will certainly be that.
Speaker 5: (04:27)
I know you said the subject is dead, sir. Any reason to doubt that he was known to Capitol Police or MPD beforehand? Any indication that he was somebody that has been around the Capitol before, maybe spotted, anything like that?
Robert Contee: (04:37)
It does not appear that he is known to the Capitol Police or the Metropolitan Police Department at this time. [crosstalk 00:04:44] Sir?
Speaker 6: (04:42)
Is this a terrorism related incident?
Robert Contee: (04:46)
It does not appear to be terrorism related, but obviously we’ll continue to investigate to see if there’s some type of nexus along those lines. Yes?
Speaker 7: (04:55)
Will the National Guard’s posture change at all? What’s their mission look like the next couple of days?
Robert Contee: (04:59)
I’ll refer that to the United States Capitol Police.
Speaker 8: (05:02)
Did the suspect say anything, or yell anything at the time?
Yogananda Pittman: (05:06)
I would say that at this time, the investigation is still in its preliminary stages, so we don’t have that information. And the Capitol Police, as far as its security posture remains in a steady state at this time. We are very thankful for our National Guard partnership, we do have National Guard on the campus, but the security posture at this time remains the same.
Speaker 8: (05:33)
[crosstalk 00:05:33] You’re still looking at motive, I understand that. Any reason to believe that there was any specific targeted of Congress, is there a specific member of Congress that the suspect may have been trying to go after? Any indication who that may have been, if that was the case?
Yogananda Pittman: (05:44)
We do not have the suspect on file with US Capitol Police. So there’s no indication at this time that there’s any nexus to any member of Congress. [crosstalk 00:05:55] Yes, ma’am.
Speaker 9: (05:57)
[crosstalk 00:05:57] drugs, or alcohol involved? Do you believe you found any of that in the car?
Yogananda Pittman: (05:59)
We cannot confirm that, but the investigation is ongoing.
Speaker 10: (06:02)
Any weapons in the car?
Yogananda Pittman: (06:04)
The suspect did exit the vehicle with a knife in hand and at that time he started to lunge toward, run aggressively toward US Capitol Police Officer.
Speaker 10: (06:15)
[inaudible 00:06:15] any weapons?
Yogananda Pittman: (06:16)
No, that part of the investigation is still ongoing. The scene is still being processed by Metropolitan Police Department. So we will have additional information at a later time. [crosstalk 00:06:27]
Speaker 11: (06:27)
Did the suspect ever come in contact… I know you mentioned the lunge. But, did the suspect come in contact and wrestle with the police officer there?
Yogananda Pittman: (06:37)
The investigation is ongoing, from what we can see from video at this time, I do not see the suspect wrestling with a US Capitol Police officer. But when he exited the vehicle, the knife was clearly in his hand and he did start to run toward the officers. [inaudible 00:06:57].
Speaker 11: (06:56)
Can you describe what kind of knife [crosstalk 00:06:59].
Yogananda Pittman: (06:59)
So at this time, this is all the questions that I am going to take. I’ll turn it back over to-
Speaker 12: (07:06)
[crosstalk 00:07:06] on the second officer?
Yogananda Pittman: (07:06)
Metropolitan Police Department’s chief. Again, I asked you to please keep the United States Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers at this time. It has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for us, but we will get through this and we do appreciate the community support.
Speaker 12: (07:30)
[crosstalk 00:07:30] Do you have details on the second officer?
Tim Barber: (07:32)
[crosstalk 00:07:32] Hey folks. We understand that you guys have a lot of questions, obviously this is a complex investigation. We are going to be putting out more information as we can on social media. And if we decide to do any more briefings later on we’ll, of course, let you guys know right away.
Speaker 12: (07:48)
Can you give us an update on the second officer?
Speaker 13: (07:51)
[crosstalk 00:07:51] Chief Contee, can we ask you one more question?
Robert Contee: (07:51)
Speaker 13: (07:52)
One questions I have, looking at the grand fabric of all of this, USCP has changed their intelligence, the way they’re sharing it. They’ve been doing what they can to try to beef up the security here and still they’re under attack. What is the answer?
Robert Contee: (08:07)
I think it’s just a part of our responsibilities and duties as law enforcement officers, we’re here to protect and serve community. Clearly this was someone who was actively trying to just get at whoever, or whatever, we just don’t know right now. So we have a responsibility to investigate that, to get to the bottom of this, whether the attack was at law enforcement or whoever, we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of it. And we’ll do that. Thank you.
Speaker 14: (08:32)
Suspect die at the scene or at the hospital?
Speaker 15: (08:39)
[inaudible 00:08:39] Whoever. Brian, I’m over here. I got both of your questions.
Speaker 16: (08:42)
Speaker 15: (08:42)
Brian, I got one of your questions [crosstalk 00:08:49] I don’t know, I don’t know.
Speaker 16: (08:47)
Speaker 15: (08:59)
[inaudible 00:08:59] here, but either way, I would like-