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Suspect stabs Pentagon police officer to death at transit station: report

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A Pentagon police officer is dead after a suspect stabbed him to death outside the Pentagon Metro entrance on Tuesday morning, NBC News reported.

On Wednesday, WBAL-TV reported that the late officer was identified as Officer George Gonzalez, a New York native and Army veteran who previously served in Iraq.

What are the details?

The suspect, identified by the Associated Press as 27-year-old Austin William Lanz of Georgia, reportedly stabbed the police officer in the neck multiple times during an incident that took place at 10:37 a.m.

Gonzalez was able to fire on the assailant after the stabbing took place, and the suspect died at the scene after additional responding law enforcement officials began firing.

According to the report, "the ensuing violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in 'several casualties,'" and officers said they believe two bystanders were injured in the attack.

During an afternoon briefing, Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse said that the scene, which prompted a lockdown, was quickly secured following the incident.

Kusse declined to provide what the outlet said was "basic information" about how the Tuesday morning violence unfolded or even how many deaths occurred as a result of the attack, and would only say that "gunfire was exchanged."

"Kusse and other officials declined to rule out terrorism or provide any other potential motive," the report continued.

"I can't compromise the ongoing investigation," Kusse added in his remarks during the press conference.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the attack.

What else?

In a statement, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency said it "mourns the tragic loss of a Pentagon Police Officer, killed during this morning's incident at the Pentagon bus platform."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Officer's family," the statement added, according to NBC News.

In a statement on the officer's murder, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.

"This fallen officer died in the line of duty," Austin said, "helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in — and who visit — the Pentagon on a daily basis."

Austin's statement continued, "He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family, and known to us all as professional, skilled, and brave. This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make. We are forever grateful for that service and the courage with which it is rendered."

The Associated Press reported that Georgia authorities arrested Lanz in April on criminal trespassing and burglary charges. That same day, the report added, a separate criminal case was filed against the suspect 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.

On Wednesday morning, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency tweeted about Gonzalez's murder, writing, "End of Watch Aug. 3, 2021. 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."

"A native of Brooklyn, New York, he was a die-hard Yankees fan. He was a graduate of New York City's Canarsie High School. George Gonzalez joined the @PFPAOfficial as a police officer on July 22, 2018," the statement continued. "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," the post added. "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. 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."

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