Austin William Lanz of Acworth, Georgia, was identified as the accused of fatally stabbing a Pentagon police officer at a metro station.
Law enforcement told The Associated Press that just steps away from the Pentagon on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Three people were injured, including the Pentagon police officer, who later died, officials said. Lanz was killed by gunfire during the attack, according to the outlet.
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Arlington, Virginia, located near Washington, D.C.
He was 27 years old.
Police allege Lanz attacked the Pentagon police officer, stabbing him on the Metrobus platform outside the Pentagon Metro station at about 10:30 a.m. This prompted a lockdown at the Pentagon. The slain police officer has not yet been identified.
Less than two hours after the stabbing and shooting, the lockdown was lifted. Pentagon Force Protection Agency Chief Woodrow Kusse held a brief press conference four hours after the incident and said there was no threat to the public. Very few details were released at the time.
Austin William Lanz Shot By Police
The Associated Press reported that Lanz “ambushed” the fallen officer, citing sources who said Lanz “ran at him and stabbed him in the neck. Responding officers then shot and killed Lanz.”
According to The Washington Post, Kusse “repeatedly deflected reporters’ questions about what had happened” in the incident during the Tuesday afternoon press conference, but he did say that “gunfire was exchanged,” the Associated Press reported.
George Gonzalez was a Pentagon police officer and decorated Army veteran killed when a suspect, identified by officials as Austin Williams Lanz, stabbed him outside the Pentagon’s Arlington, Virginia, metro station that serves the U.S. Military headquarters near Washington, D.C. He was identified in a statement from his department, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.
In Cobb County, Georgia, Court records indicate Lanz was arrested in April 2021 and charged with criminal trespass and burglary. A separate set of charges was filed against him the same day, which included two counts of aggravated battery on police, a count of making a terrorist threat, and a charge for rioting in a penal institution, court records indicate.
Lanz’s court records show a judge reduced his bail amount to $30,000 in May 2021, setting conditions that included prohibiting him from using illegal drugs and ordering a mental health evaluation. The case was still pending when Lanz died, court records show.
Investigators have not yet released any information on the motive behind the shooting. The FBI is leading the investigation, officials said in a press conference. The Associated Press reported that to determine a motive, investigators were looking into Lanz’s background and any history of mental illness to determine “any reason he might want to target the Pentagon or police officers.”
The lockdown at the Pentagon lasted for about two hours before the Department of Defense issued a statement saying the area was secure but remained a crime scene.