Pentagon Lockdown Lifted Following Shooting
It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired or if anyone was killed.,
The Pentagon confirms several casualties in an attack on one of its police officers at its Metro entrance.
Pentagon Provides Update On Shooting
The chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency provided details on the shooting incident that took place on the Metro bus platform near the Defense Department’s headquarters.
“This morning at about 10:37 a.m., a Pentagon police officer was attacked on the Metro bus platform. Gunfire was exchanged, and there were several casualties. The incident is over. The scene is secure and most importantly, there’s no continuing threat to our community. The F.B.I. is on scene leading the investigation. And again, the Pentagon and the Pentagon reservation are safe and secure. Right now, it’s an active, ongoing investigation. The information that I have is preliminary. So it continues to evolve, and I will be providing those details at the earliest opportunity. But right now, it’s just premature. The situation has been resolved, but the investigation must continue. We are not actively looking for another suspect at this time.” Reporter: “Can rule out that this was a terrorist attack?” “It’s premature, sir. We don’t know what the motivation was.”
The chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency provided details on the shooting incident that took place on the Metro bus platform near the Defense Department’s headquarters.CreditCredit…Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
By John Ismay
Aug. 3, 2021, 11:46 a.m. ET
The Pentagon complex was locked down for approximately 75 minutes on Tuesday following a shooting at the building’s Metro entrance.
It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired or if anyone was killed.
At an afternoon press briefing, Woodrow G. Kusse, chief of the Pentagon’s police force, confirmed that an attack had taken place but offered few details.
“This morning at about 10:37 a.m., a Pentagon police officer was attacked on the Metro bus platform,” Chief Kusse said. “Gunfire was exchanged, and there were several casualties.”
“The incident is over, the scene is secure, and most importantly there is no continuing threat to our community,” he added.
The chief declined to offer additional details, citing the ongoing investigation, but said he would provide additional information in the future.
According to Chief Kusse, the F.B.I. is leading the investigation into the attack.
“At this time, it would be premature to speculate on motive, and in order to protect the integrity of the investigation we cannot provide additional details at this time,” F.B.I. spokeswoman Samantha Shero said in statement. “There is no ongoing threat to the public.”
When pressed to say whether the attack may have been carried out by multiple assailants, Chief Kusse said that his office was not looking for any additional suspects.
A Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said Lloyd J. Austin III, the secretary of defense, was at a regularly scheduled meeting with President Biden at the White House at the time of the attack, and was immediately notified by his staff that it had taken place.
The secretary later traveled to the Pentagon and visited the building’s operations center upon his arrival, Mr. Kirby said.
Secretary Austin “very clearly was concerned about the incident, about the potential for violence right here on the Pentagon reservation and certainly was very concerned about any casualties that occurred,” Mr. Kirby added.
Just before noon, officials said the scene had been secured, and a later message, posted on Twitter, announced that the building had reopened, but said the Metro entrance remained closed.
According to a public affairs employee in the secretary of defense’s office, a message was read over the Pentagon’s loudspeaker system at approximately 10:45 a.m. Eastern stating that there had been “a shooting incident at the Metro bus area” and instructing employees to “stay in the building until further notice.”
The announcement was followed by a similar alert sent to all computer terminals in the Pentagon approximately 15 minutes later.
Security at the building is provided by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the law enforcement entity that Chief Kusse leads. Phone calls to the agency’s spokesperson were not immediately returned.
Chief Kusse said that the last major attack on the Pentagon’s Metro entrance was in March 2010, when John Patrick Bedell pulled out two 9-millimeter semiautomatic weapons and began shooting at the security checkpoint near the entrance to the Pentagon subway station, wounding two officers. Mr. Bedell was shot and killed by security officers.