A police officer was killed at the Pentagon transit terminal on Tuesday in an incident that forced the U.S. military headquarters to be locked down, the Defense Department said.
Employees at the Pentagon building in Arlington, a suburb of Washington, have been ordered to shelter in place for more than an hour after gunfire erupted in the bus and subway station a few yards away from the entrance.
Officials said the site was secure 90 minutes after the incident, but declined to explain what happened.
“The incident is over, the scene is secure and, more importantly, there is no continuing threat to our community,” said Woodrow Kusse, head of the Pentagon’s Force Protection Agency, who patrols the area. the iconic five-sided building.
Kusse said there were “several injured”, but did not provide details or confirm information that the officer was stabbed and died of his injuries, and that the assailant was shot. .
“This deceased officer died in the line of duty, helping to protect the tens of thousands of people who work at the Pentagon – and who visit – daily,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
“He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family and we all know them as professional, skilled and courageous. ”
Austin said the investigation into the incident is ongoing and said it should “go smoothly and without speculation.”
Metro services were temporarily suspended and buses to the station were diverted to other stops.
Dozens of police gathered outside the George Washington University Hospital in Washington where the officer was taken.
“The Pentagon is currently on lockdown due to an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center. We ask the public to avoid the area, ”the Pentagon security force tweeted after the incident took place at around 10:37 am (14:37 GMT).
Arlington County Emergency Services said they encountered “several” people in need of treatment at the scene, without providing further information.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Austin was out of the building at the time, during a meeting with President Joe Biden.
© 2021 AFP