Suspect, Officer Killed in Pentagon Stabbing Identified

NEW YORK -
Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse, right, accompanied by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, left, speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. . (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Pentagon officials have identified the suspect behind Tuesday’s stabbing at the transit center outside the Arlington County, Virginia building, which sent three people to the hospital and killed a police officer.

George Gonzalez succumbed to his wounds after being stabbed in the neck by Austin William Lanz, 27, Spectrum News reported.

The Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military, went into lockdown on Tuesday morning around 10:30 a.m. when Lanz began stabbing people at the bus station outside the building. He ambushed Gonzalez and stabbed him multiple times in the neck before Lanz was shot and killed by police officers.

Three people were hospitalized in connection to the incident.

This undated photo provided by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency shows Pentagon Police Officer George Gonzalez. (Pentagon Force Protection Agency via AP)

Gonzalez, originally from Brooklyn, was a veteran who served in Iraq, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service. He joined the Pentagon Force Protection Agency in 2018, and was promoted to the rank of Senior Officer in 2020. He also previously served with the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered flags be flown at half-mast at the Pentagon complex in honor of Gonzalez. In a statement, Austain said,  “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.”

“He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family, and known to us all as professional, skilled and brave,” Austin added. “This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make.”

The FBI is investigating Lanz. He enlisted in the military in 2012 but lasted less than a month in training. In April, he was arrested in Georgia for criminal trespassing and burglary charges, and later two counts of aggravated battery on police, a count of making a terrorist threat and a charge for rioting in a penal institution were added to his charges. He was released on a $30,000 bond and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

___

smarcus@hamodia.com