Pentagon Police Officer Killed in Stabbing Outside Building

Officials have confirmed that a police officer was killed on Tuesday, Aug. 3, during a violent incident at a Metro bus platform outside the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. The fallen officer’s identity has not yet been publicly released. A suspect was shot and killed by responding law enforcement officers at the scene.

According to Woodrow Kusse, chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the Pentagon was placed on lockdown after a man attacked the officer on a bus platform a little after 10:30 a.m. Two law enforcement officers at the scene said the suspect charged the officer and stabbed him in the neck. The incident resulted in several shots fired and “several casualties,” said Kusse. Officials say two bystanders were also injured.

The suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Austin William Lanz of Georgia. Investigators are probing Lanz’s background for a possible motive for the attack, as well as for a possible history of mental illness. Officials declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

The FBI is leading the investigation, which Kusse has said is standard procedure. Kusse said that it is too soon to determine whether the attack could be considered a terrorist incident. However, the FBI released a statement saying it couldn’t provide any further information but that “There is no ongoing threat to the public.” Kusse also confirmed that law enforcement is not currently searching for additional suspects.

“On behalf of everyone working at the Pentagon, and across the Department of Defense, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the Pentagon Force Protection Officer who died as a result of the injuries he received this morning,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “…This fallen officer died in the line of duty, helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in—and who visit—the Pentagon on a daily basis.” Austin also ordered that flags at the Pentagon be flown at half-staff.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at


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