Both victim and suspect in yesterday’s Pentagon officer stabbing have been identified. Officer George Gonzalez was ambushed as he stood on the platform at the Pentagon Transit Center yesterday as we previously reported. The suspect, Austin William Lanz, 27, rushed up to the officer and stabbed him in the neck.
Officer Gonzalez was described as a “die hard Yankee’s fan” from Brooklyn, NY. He was an Iraq Army veteran who joined the Pentagon Force Protection Agency in 2018. The Agency reported that he was promoted twice and achieved the rank of Senior officer in 2020. He had previously served in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Transportation Security Agency. He was described by his agency as “gregarious and well liked” and took his job to heart.
HEARTBREAKING ? Per @PFPAOfficial: “Last night, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency observed End of Watch for Pentagon Police Officer George Gonzalez who was tragically killed yesterday during the incident at the Pentagon bus platform.” pic.twitter.com/ggbpJFnpvE
— Sierra Fox (@thesierrafox) August 4, 2021
The suspect was identified as Austin William Lanz, who had a long criminal record.
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…
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.
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