WASHINGTON (WTVO) — The suspect in Friday’s shooting at the U.S. Capitol was a self-described follower of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, according to The New York Times.
25-year-old Noah Green was identified by police as being from Indiana. He was shot to death by police after he allegedly rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife.
According to the Times, Green posted on Facebook about the “end times” and the anti-Christ, and made a donation to the Nation of Islam on March 17th, when he posted a video of a Farrakhan speech titled “The Divine Destruction of America.”
The Nation of Islam has been designated as a hate group in America by the Southern Poverty Law Center, due to its “deeply racist, antiemetic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders.”
“I am currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey,” he wrote on his now-deleted Facebook page.
Investigators were digging into his background and examining whether he had any mental health history as they tried to discern a motive. They were working to obtain warrants to access his online accounts.
Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that investigators initially believed the Green stabbed one of the officers, but it was later unclear whether the knife actually made contact, in part because vehicle struck the officers with such force. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Police identified the slain officer as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran who was a member of the department’s first responders unit.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he and his wife were heartbroken to learn of the attack and expressed condolences to Evans’ family. He directed flags at the White House to be lowered to half staff.
The crash and shooting happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol typically used by senators and staff on weekdays, though most were away from the building for the current recess. The attack occurred about 100 yards (91 meters) from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. One witness, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, said he was finishing a Good Friday service nearby when he heard three shots ring out.
The Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of insurrectionists loyal to former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Biden’s presidential win.
Five people died in the Jan. 6 riot, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was among a badly outnumbered force trying to fight off the intruders seeking to overturn the election. Authorities installed a tall perimeter fence around the Capitol and for months restricted traffic along the roads closest to the building, but they had begun pulling back some of the emergency measures. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was only recently removed.
Evans was the seventh Capitol Police member to die in the line of duty in the department’s history, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks deaths of law enforcement. In addition, two officers, one from Capitol Police and another from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, died by suicide following the Jan. 6 attack.
Almost 140 Capitol Police officers were wounded in that attack, including officers not issued helmets who sustained head injuries and one with cracked ribs, according to the officers’ union. It took hours for the National Guard to arrive, a delay that has driven months of finger-pointing between that day’s key decision makers.
Capitol Police and National Guard troops were called upon soon afterward to secure the Capitol during Biden’s inauguration and faced another potential threat in early March linked to conspiracy theories falsely claiming Trump would retake the presidency.
“Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.