The 18-year U.S. Capitol Police veteran killed in the line of duty is being remembered as a man with a sense of humor who loved baseball and golf and was most proud of one particular title: Dad.
William “Billy” Evans, 41, was killed Friday when a vehicle rammed into Evans and another officer at a barricade just 100 yards from the Capitol. The driver, Noah Green, 25, came out of the car with a knife and was shot to death by police, officials said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that Evans will lie in honor in the United States Capitol Rotunda on April 13, a tribute reserved for the nation’s most eminent private citizens.
The U.S. Capitol Police also released a statement from Evans family, saying: “His death has left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled.”
Members of Evans family said in the statement through the U.S. Capitol Police that the most important thing in Evans’ life was his two children, Logan and Abigail.
“His most cherished moments were those spent with them,” the family said. “He was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did. Any opportunity to spend time with his children brightened both their lives and his. Their dad was their hero long before the tragic events of last week.”
The family said Evans was proud of his job and that his friendship with colleagues near the “North Barricade” of the Capitol complex was one of the best parts of his job.
“We hold them in our hearts, as we know they acutely share our grief,” the family’s statement read.
The death of Evans came nearly three months after the Jan. 6 rioting at the Capitol that left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. He died a day after the insurrection.
Lawmakers issued a wave of statements offering their condolences and gratitude to Evans after the Good Friday attack. Capitol Hill aides and members of the press corps that cover Capitol Hill also weighed in, recalling him as friendly and professional.
In a joint statement released Tuesday, Schumer and Pelosi said they hoped next week’s tribute in the Capitol Rotunda would provide comfort to Evans’ family and express the nation’s gratitude to members of the U.S. Capitol Police.
“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful,” Schumer and Pelosi said.
LaForest said Evans never considered himself to be a hero.
“He wanted to serve his country as a Capitol police officer and looked forward to seeing lawmakers and visitors who came to the Capitol every day, many of whom became friends of Billy’s in large part because of his good-natured sense of humor,” LaForest said. “And, unfortunately, Billy paid the ultimate price defending his country.”
Reporting by the Associated Press.
Updated Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:32 pm .