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Police Officer Killed in Stabbing Outside Pentagon

Officials say attacker was shot dead after ambushing officer outside military HQ
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2021 1:52 PM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2021 7:49 PM CDT
Report: Pentagon Officer Dies After Stabbing
Pentagon Police officers stand outside the Pentagon Metro area, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, at the Pentagon in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – A Pentagon police officer died after being stabbed Tuesday during a burst of violence at a transit station outside the Pentagon, and a suspect in the incident was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday. The building, the headquarters of the US military, was temporarily placed on lockdown after someone attacked the officer on a bus platform shortly after 10:30am. The ensuing violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in "several casualties," said Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which is responsible for security in the facility. The incident occurred on a Metro bus platform that is part of the Pentagon Transit Center, just steps from the building, according to the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

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Officials said they believe two bystanders were injured. The suspect was identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia, the AP reports. The officer was ambushed by Lanz, who ran at him and stabbed him in the neck, according to two of the law enforcement officials. Responding officers then shot and killed Lanz. Investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the attack and were digging into Lanz’s background, including any potential history of mental illness or any reason he might want to target the Pentagon or police officers. Lanz enlisted in the US Marine Corps in October 2012 but was “administratively separated” less than a month later and never earned the title Marine, the Corps said in a statement.

(Read more Pentagon stories.)

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