Details Emerge on What Happened at the Pentagon

Details Emerge on What Happened at the Pentagon

When the August 3rd lockdown at the Pentagon was initially reported, no details were given about the shooting that caused it. Now, information is beginning to emerge in the press.

Initial Reports

Patriot United News initially reported on the shooting that took place just steps away from the Pentagon, but we did not have much information at the time. Most of the details revealed about the incident came from tweets.

At the time of the incident, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency provided little information, tweeting: “The Pentagon currently is on lock down due to an incident at the Pentagon Transit Center. We are asking the public to please avoid the area. More information will be forthcoming.”

Other outlets simply reported the story without any details, though the Associated Press did have reporters in the area who confirmed hearing the sound of gunshots.

New Details

On August 4, the day after the incident, the Pentagon confirmed that Pentagon Police Officer George Gonzalez, an Army veteran, was killed in an attack outside of the building.

New reports indicate that the lockdown at the Pentagon occurred because Officer Gonzalez was attacked on the agency’s metro platform, which resulted in an exchange of gunfire.

Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse confirmed that “several injuries resulted from the incident,” but did not provide further details.

The suspect has been identified as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia. Law enforcement officials revealed that Lanz ran at and stabbed Officer Gonzalez in the neck.

Reports are conflicted on the death of the suspect. Mainstream media reports indicate that officers who responded to the scene had shot and killed Lanz, but the FBI’s Washington Field Office reports that “a struggle ensued, in which the subject mortally wounded Officer Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer’s service weapon. Other PFPA officers engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene.”

Officials also revealed that they believe two bystanders were injured during the attack, though the FBI report says only one bystander was injured.

“A civilian bystander, who was also injured during the incident, was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and later released,” the FBI’s Washington Field Office tweeted.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive, and are looking into whether Lanz had any history of mental illness or a reason why he would have chosen to target the Pentagon or the agency’s officers.

Online court records indicate that Lanz had previously been arrested in April 2021 in Cobb County, Georgia, on charges of criminal trespassing and burglary. The Associated Press reported that, “the same day, a separate criminal case was filed against Lanz with six additional charges, including two counts of aggravated battery on police, a count of making a terrorist threat and a charge for rioting in a penal institution, the records show.”

Those charges against Lanz were still listed as pending, as a judge had reduced his bond to $30,000 in May and released him on the condition that he undergo a mental health evaluation and not ingest any illegal drugs.

Mourning the Officer’s Death

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke out about the murder of Officer Gonzalez, stating: “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 injuries he received this morning.”

“Last night, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency observed End of Watch for Pentagon Police Officer George Gonzalez who was tragically killed yesterday during the incident at the Pentagon bus platform,” the Pentagon Force Protection Agency wrote.

“As a Pentagon Police officer, he took our mission of “protecting those who protect our nation” to heart. He was promoted twice and attained the rank of Senior Officer in 2020. A gregarious officer, he was well-liked and respected by his fellow officers… As a military and police veteran, Officer Gonzalez had served previously with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Transportation Security Administration, and United States Army. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Iraq,” the agency added.

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