Officials seek clues in deadly attack on Pentagon officer

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WASHINGTON — Federal investigators were digging Wednesday into the inheritance of a Georgia antheral who officials accidental fatally stabbed a Pentagon constabulary serviceman astatine a transit presumption extracurricular the gathering earlier being changeable and killed himself.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency identified the slain serviceman arsenic George Gonzalez, a New York autochthonal and Army seasoned who served successful Iraq and joined the constabulary unit 3 years ago. He died aft being attacked Tuesday greeting connected a autobus level extracurricular the Pentagon.

The burst of unit temporarily placed the U.S. subject office connected lockdown and jangled the nerves of a portion already primed to beryllium connected precocious alert for unit and imaginable intruders extracurricular national authorities buildings.

The FBI was starring the probe into the unit and the suspect, identified by aggregate instrumentality enforcement officials arsenic Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia. The authorities were examining Lanz’s background, including his transgression history, jailhouse records, fiscal accusation and immoderate online accounts arsenic they tried to place a imaginable motive for the attack, a instrumentality enforcement authoritative said

Gonzalez was ambushed by Lanz, who ran astatine him and stabbed him successful the neck, according to 2 instrumentality enforcement officials who could not sermon the probe publically and spoke to The Associated Press connected information of anonymity. Responding officers past changeable and killed Lanz.

Enlisted but ne'er served

Lanz had enlisted successful the U.S. Marine Corps successful October 2012 but was “administratively separated” little than a period aboriginal and ne'er earned the rubric Marine, the Corps said successful a statement.

He was arrested successful April successful Cobb County, Georgia, connected transgression trespassing and burglary charges, according to online tribunal records. The aforesaid day, a abstracted transgression lawsuit was filed against Lanz with six further charges, including 2 counts of aggravated artillery connected police, a number of making a violent menace and a complaint for rioting successful a penal institution, the records show.

A justice reduced his enslaved successful May to $30,000 and released him, imposing immoderate conditions, including that helium not ingest amerciable drugs and that helium acquisition a intelligence wellness evaluation. The charges against him were inactive listed arsenic pending. A spokesperson for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Lanz had been antecedently held astatine the agency’s detention halfway but referred each different questions to the FBI’s tract bureau successful Washington.

An lawyer who represented Lanz successful the Georgia cases didn’t instantly respond to a telephone connection and email seeking comment, and messages near with household members astatine Lanz’s location successful the Atlanta suburb of Acworth, Georgia, were not instantly returned.

At a Pentagon quality league Tuesday, the PFPA chief, Woodrow Kusse declined to supply adjacent basal accusation astir however the unit had unfolded. He would lone accidental that an serviceman had been attacked and that “gunfire was exchanged.”

Kusse and different officials declined to regularisation retired coercion oregon supply immoderate different imaginable motive, saying they didn’t privation to “compromise the ongoing investigation.” But Kusse said “we are not actively looking for different fishy astatine this time.”

The FBI confirmed lone that it was investigating and determination was “no ongoing menace to the public” but declined to connection details oregon a imaginable motive.

‘Forever grateful’

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his condolences and said flags astatine the Pentagon volition beryllium flown astatine half-staff.

“This fallen serviceman died successful the enactment of duty, helping support the tens of thousands of radical who enactment successful — and who sojourn — the Pentagon connected a regular basis,” Austin said successful a statement. “This tragic decease contiguous is simply a stark reminder of the dangers they look and the sacrifices they make. We are everlastingly grateful for that work and the courageousness with which it is rendered.”

The onslaught occurred connected a Metro autobus level that is portion of the Pentagon Transit Center, a hub for subway and autobus lines. The presumption is steps from the Pentagon building, which is successful Arlington County, Virginia, conscionable crossed the Potomac River from Washington. The installation was connected lockdown for much than an hour.

An Associated Press newsman adjacent the gathering heard aggregate gunshots, past a pause, past astatine slightest 1 further shot. Another AP writer heard constabulary yelling “shooter.”

Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were astatine the White House gathering with President Joe Biden astatine the clip of the violence. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Austin returned to the gathering and went to the Pentagon constabulary operations halfway to talk to the officers there.

In 2010, 2 officers with the Pentagon Force Protection Agency were wounded erstwhile a gunman approached them astatine a information screening area. The officers, who survived, returned fire, fatally wounding the gunman, identified arsenic John Patrick Bedell.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long successful Washington and Lolita C. Baldor, Matthew Barakat and Sagar Meghani successful Arlington, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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