Ryan Discusses Capitol Security Following Attack

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Capitol security will be further reviewed in the wake of Friday’s attack by a lone assailant that left one Capitol Police officer dead, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said.

Little is known about the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Noah Green of Indiana, or his motives for crashing into a security barricade at the Capitol complex, killing one officer and injuring another. The deceased officer was identified as William Evans.

Police shot Green dead after he emerged from his vehicle and lunged at them with a knife.

Ryan, who serves as chairman of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, told reporters that more information is needed before determining what actions might be needed in response, including whether the fencing erected in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol but was subsequently taken down might need to be restored.

“We’ll be reviewing everything at this point, including the fencing,” which he acknowledged is “an eyesore” that nobody wants.

“But the question is, ‘Is the environment safe enough to be able to take it down?” he said.

Officials declined to offer a motive for the attack, but Robert Contee, the acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said there was no ongoing threat to the area and that the incident did not appear to be linked to terrorism.

In a statement issued by the White House, President Joe Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden were “heartbroken” to learn of the attack at the security checkpoint that killed Evans and injured the other officer. He ordered White House flags to be lowered to half mast and praised the response of Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who responded to the attack

“We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,” Biden said. “I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds.” 

Ryan said the attack “took the scab off” for those who experienced who were at the Capitol Hill Jan. 6, when a violent mob invaded the complex. He called for a bipartisan effort to address security at the complex. “It’s time for us to elevate the conversation and be adults,” he said.

In addition to what physical barriers might need to be put in place, human resources are another issue. Increasing Capitol Police by nearly 1,000 officers is under consideration, but it takes 18 applicants to get one person to join, Ryan said.

“So it’s going to take some time to ramp that up,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pictured at top: Authorities clean scene after a man rammed a car into two officers at the barricade on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.