Details Released About Pentagon Attack that Left Officer Dead

Law enforcement officials identified both the officer killed and the suspect who died in an Aug. 3 attack at a bus stop outside the Pentagon. Officials also announced that a civilian bystander was injured during the incident.

Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer George Gonzalez was at the Metro bus platform outside the building’s main entrance Aug. 3 when the suspect, Austin William Lanz, 27, exited a bus and attacked Gonzalez with a knife “immediately, without provocation,” according to a series of tweets from the FBI’s Washington field office.

A struggle ensued, the FBI stated, in which Lanz mortally wounded Gonzalez then used the officer’s weapon to shoot himself. Other PFPA officers engaged Lanz, and gunfire was exchanged, with Lanz dying at the scene.

The FBI also stated that a civilian bystander was injured during the incident but did not specify whether the person was shot and if so, whether the person was shot by Lanz or PFPA officers. The civilian was transported to the hospital and later released.

In a series of tweets Aug. 4, the PFPA remembered Gonzalez as a “die-hard” fan of the New York Yankees and a “gregarious officer, [who] was well-liked and respected by his fellow officers.”

An Army veteran, Gonzalez also served in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Transportation Security Administration before joining the PFPA in 2018. He held the rank of Senior Officer. The Army issued a tweet Aug. 4 commemorating Gonzalez, saying, “We mourn the loss of Officer Gonzalez and salute his life of service and bravery. Rest In Peace, Soldier.”

“His life was one of service,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing. “A veteran of both the police and the military, he lost his life protecting those who protect the nation.”

According to reports from and The Associated Press, Lanz, a Georgia resident, briefly enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2012 but was dismissed within a month and never earned the title Marine. 

He had a history of criminal behavior, including an April incident in which he was arrested for breaking into a neighbor’s home then attacked two sheriff’s deputies without provocation in the intake area, according to the AP. Online court records show he was charged with aggravated battery on a police officer, unlawful acts in a penal institution, obstruction of law enforcement, and terroristic threats/acts, in addition to criminal trespassing and burglary charges, but posted bail in May. The charges against him are still listed as pending.