Man Got Off Bus Near Pentagon, Fatally Stabbed Officer: FBI

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The man who killed a Pentagon police officer at a nearby transit center Tuesday got off a bus, immediately stabbed the officer and then shot himself with the officer’s gun, the FBI says. 

Officer George Gonzalez was killed in the line of duty after a burst of violence on a bus platform outside the headquarters of the U.S. military. The Pentagon was temporarily locked down. 

The FBI said in new information Wednesday that Austin William Lanz, 27, of Georgia, is the suspect. Lanz died at the scene. A “civilian bystander” was wounded and had non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the FBI, Lanz got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center in Arlington at about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday and “immediately, without provocation, attacked Officer George Gonzalez with a knife, severely wounding him.” 

A “struggle ensued” and Lanz mortally wounded Gonzalez. 

Lanz then shot himself with Gonzalez’ gun. 

Other Pentagon officers engaged with Lanz, who died on the scene. 

Gonzalez was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead. The bystander was taken to a hospital and later released. 

The FBI investigation is ongoing.

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.

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.

A judge reduced his bond in May to $30,000 and released him, imposing some conditions, including that he not ingest illegal drugs and that he undergo a mental health evaluation. The charges against him were still listed as pending. A spokesman for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Lanz had been previously held at the agency’s detention center but referred all other questions to the FBI’s field office in Washington.

An attorney who represented Lanz in the Georgia cases didn’t immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment, and messages left with family members at Lanz’s home in the Atlanta suburb of Acworth, Georgia, were not immediately returned.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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