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New Details Emerge on Pentagon Stabbing

FBI says Austin Lanz shot himself with officer's gun
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2021 5:29 PM CDT
FBI: Pentagon Attack Suspect Shot Himself With Officer's Gun
This April 2021 image provided by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office shows a booking photo of Austin Williams Lanz.   (Cobb County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – New details have emerged on the stabbing attack that killed a Pentagon police officer outside the nation's military headquarters Tuesday. The FBI says 27-year-old Georgia resident Austin William Lanz got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center and immediately attacked Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer George Gonzalez, without provocation, the Hill reports. After a struggle, Lanz shot himself with Gonzalez's gun, and other officers "engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene," the FBI says. Officials have not determined a motive. Lanz enlisted in the Marines in October 2012 but was "administratively separated" less than a month later "and never earned the title Marine," the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

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According to court records, Lanz was arrested in Georgia in April on criminal trespassing and burglary charges, NBC reports. More charges were added after he attacked and injured two deputies while being booked into the county jail. He was released on $30,000 bond in May. Philip Brent, a neighbor in the Atlanta suburb of Acworth, says Lanz broke into his home after harassing him and his former fiancee for months. "I wish there was a better way to address those mental health issues that people have,” Brent tells the AP. "It feels like it was just a clear failure of our system to help someone out who needed that help." Flags at the Pentagon were flown at half-staff Wednesday to honor Gonzalez, an Army veteran who joined the Pentagon force in 2018. "A gregarious officer, he was well-liked and respected by his fellow officers," the force said in a statement. (Read more Pentagon stories.)

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