A police officer was killed and several others were injured in an attack outside the Pentagon on Tuesday, prompting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to declare a temporary lockdown at the Arlington, Va., facility.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency tweeted earlier that there was an “active crime scene” and ordered the public to stay away from the Metro rail entrance and bus platform at the Defense Department headquarters.
A public affairs employee at the defense secretary’s office told The New York Times a message read over the Pentagon’s loudspeaker said there had been “a shooting incident at the Metro bus area.”
The Arlington County Fire Department in Virginia tweeted that it “did encounter multiple patients.”
The agency said the lockdown lasted for about 75 minutes and was lifted just after noon. The Metro entrance at the Pentagon, though, remained closed.
Austin said he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the Pentagon in response to the officer’s death.
“This fallen officer died in the line of duty, helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in — and who visit — the Pentagon on a daily basis,” Austin said.
“He and his colleagues are members of the Pentagon family, and we all know them to be professional, skilled, and brave. Today’s tragic death serves as a stark reminder of the risks they face and the sacrifices they make. We will be eternally grateful for that service and the courage with which it was performed.”
Austin stated that the incident was being investigated by the Defense Department.
Pentagon Force Protection Agency Chief Woodrow Kusse said gunfire was exchanged and “several casualties” were reported in the attack, but he declined to provide specifics on their conditions.
“The Pentagon and the Pentagon reservation are safe and secure,” he said during a briefing, adding there was no search for a suspect.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., offered his condolences for the death of an officer involved.
“I’m incredibly saddened to learn about the passing of a Pentagon police officer, who was killed earlier this morning in a senseless act of violence outside the Pentagon. My heart goes out to the officer’s family and friends, as well as the entire Pentagon Police force,” he tweeted.