Pentagon Force Protection Agency
The FBI said George Gonzalez, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer who was killed in Tuesday’s violent incident on a Pentagon bus platform, was attacked without provocation.
Investigators report that Austin William Lanz, 27, most recently from Acworth, Ga., Got off a bus and immediately rushed to Gonzalez. Lanz then retrieved the officer’s weapon and shot himself, investigators said.
“Other PFPA agents engaged the subject, who ultimately died at the scene,” the FBI statement said.
The officer killed had served in the army
Gonzalez was originally from Brooklyn, NY, and an Army veteran who served in Iraq, the PFPA said on Wednesday. The agency described him as gregarious and valued and said he was respected among his fellow officers.
After joining the force in 2018, he was promoted twice, eventually reaching the rank of senior officer last year. Gonzalez, whose merits in Iraq earned him an Army Medal of Honor, also worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Transportation Security Administration.
“Officer Gonzalez has embodied our values of integrity and service to others. As we mourn the loss of Officer Gonzalez, our commitment to serve and protect is stronger,” the agency said. “The family of Officer Gonzalez is in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.”
The fatal knife attack occurred at the transit stop near the U.S. Army headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to the Metro Special Police Department.
The Pentagon was taken into custody for about 90 minutes from just before 10:40 a.m., after a man attacked Gonzalez near the bus stop. An exchange of gunfire ensued, Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse said Tuesday, killing “several people”.
The FBI statement says a civilian passerby was injured and treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
The Ministry of Defense honored the officer
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin offered his condolences later Tuesday in a statement confirming the death of an officer and said Pentagon flags would be at half mast.
“This deceased officer died in the line of duty, helping to protect the tens of thousands of people who work and visit the Pentagon daily,” Austin said. “This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make. We are forever grateful for this service and the courage with which it is rendered.”