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Pentagon 'Safe, Secure' Following Attack

Aug. 3, 2021 | BY Jim Garamone , DOD News

The Pentagon is "safe and secure" after an incident this morning that caused "several" casualties, said Woodrow Kusse, the chief of the Pentagon Police Division.

Kusse spoke at the Pentagon Briefing Room this afternoon. 

"This morning at about 10:37a.m., a Pentagon police officer was attacked on the Metro bus platform," the chief said. "Gunfire was exchanged, and there were several casualties. The incident is over and the scene is secure. And most importantly, there's no continuing threat to our community."

A man in a police uniform speaks with members of the press.
Woodrow Kusse
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a joint press conference with Pentagon Force Projection Agency Police Chief Woodrow Kusse, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Aug. 3, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 210803-D-XI929-1017

The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident, the chief said, supported by many different jurisdictions. 

The Pentagon Metro station and the bus terminal on the south side of the building was closed. It is an active investigation and Chief Husse did not want to do anything to jeopardize the integrity of the process. "The information that I have is preliminary, so it continues to evolve," he told reporters. " I will be providing those details at the earliest opportunity. But right now, it's just premature, that the situation has been resolved but the investigation must continue."

The chief would not address what motivated the attacker, nor categorize the injuries the casualties received. 

The Pentagon Metro station had been the site of incidents before, most recently in 2010. The chief said the Pentagon Force Protection Force will examine the incident once the investigation is concluded and look for ways to do their jobs better. 

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"The Pentagon Metro station is probably one of the busiest in the (Washington) transportation system," he said. "It is a hub for commuters as well as building occupants."

It is too early to draw conclusions from the attack, he said. "It's still pending, we will certainly, as this investigation concludes, take another look at any measures," the chief said. "Our mission is to protect not just the building, but the community that we serve."

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III was at the White House for meetings with President Joe Biden when word of the attack reached him. Upon returning to the building he stopped at the PFPA Operations Center to check on the situation, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.