Pictured: LEFT – April 2021 booking photo of Austin William Lanz; RIGHT – Deceased Pentagon security officer George Gonzales
A Pentagon police officer was stabbed in an attack at the Pentagon Transit Center Tuesday morning and later died, two law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The suspect, identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, was killed Tuesday morning after stabbing the officer in the neck, authorities said.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency said Officer George Gonzalez was a New York native and Army veteran who served in Iraq. He’d been on the police force for three years. He died after being stabbed during a burst of violence at a transit center outside the building, and a suspect was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was temporarily placed on lockdown Tuesday after a man attacked the officer on a bus platform shortly after 10:30 a.m. The ensuing violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in “several casualties,” said Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, which is responsible for security in the facility.
The suspect also died as a result of the incident, law enforcement sources said.
“This morning at about 10:37 a.m., a Pentagon police officer was attacked on the Metro Bus platform. Gunfire was exchanged. And there were — there were several casualties. The incident is over, the scene is secure and — most importantly — there’s no continuing threat to our community,” he said.
“There were a number of people that fled and there were some erroneous reports,” he added.
The suspect was identified by multiple law enforcement officials as Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia.
The officer was ambushed by Lanz, who ran at him and stabbed him in the neck, according to two of the law enforcement officials. Responding officers then shot and killed Lanz. Investigators were still trying to determine a motive for the attack and were digging into Lanz’s background, including any potential history of mental illness or any reason he might want to target the Pentagon or police officers.
The officials could not discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity.
Lanz had enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in October 2012 but was “administratively separated” less than a month later and never earned the title Marine, the Corps said in a statement.
Lanz was arrested in April in Cobb County, Georgia, on criminal trespassing and burglary charges, according to online court records. The same day, a separate criminal case was filed against Lanz with six additional charges, including two counts of aggravated battery on police, a count of making a terrorist threat and a charge for rioting in a penal institution, the records show.