Slain officer, suspect in Pentagon attack identified

Pentagon Police officer George Gonzalez died Tuesday after being attacked at the Pentagon's bus depot. File Photo courtesy of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency

Aug. 5 (UPI) — Law enforcement officials on Wednesday identified a police officer killed in this week’s attack outside the Pentagon and the man accused of stabbing him.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency said officer George Gonzalez died Tuesday when a suspect attacked him, stabbing him. The incident happened at the Metro rail entrance and bus platform at the Defense Department’s Arlington, Va., headquarters.

The FBI said suspect William Lanz, 27, of Acworth, Ga., exited a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center and “immediately, without provocation,” stabbed Gonzalez with a knife.

“A struggle ensued, in which the subject mortally wounded officer Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer’s service weapon,” the FBI said of Lanz, who died at the scene.

A civilian bystander was also injured and transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The PFPA said Gonzalez joined the force as a police officer July 22, 2018, and was promoted twice, reaching the rank of senior officer.

“A gregarious officer, he was well-liked and respected by his fellow officers,” a statement on the department’s Twitter account said.

Gonzalez previously served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Transportation Security Administration and in the U.S. Army, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Iraq.

“Officer Gonzalez embodied our values of integrity and service to others. As we mourn the loss of officer Gonzalez, our commitment to serve and protect is stronger. Officer Gonzalez’s family is in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace,” the PFPA said.

The Tuesday attack prompted a 75-minute lockdown at the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the Pentagon in response to Gonzalez’s death.

“We mourn the loss of Officer Gonzalez and salute his life of service and bravery. Our hearts are with his family, friends and colleagues,” the The U.S. Army’s Washington District said in a tweet.


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