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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III on the Death of Pentagon Force Protection Agency Officer

On behalf of everyone working at the Pentagon, and across the Department of Defense, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the Pentagon Force Protection Officer who died as a result of injuries he received this morning. 

I have ordered to half-mast the flags flown on the Pentagon Reservation in honor of his loss.

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.  This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make.  We are forever grateful for that service and the courage with which it is rendered.

An investigation remains underway to determine the circumstances surrounding today’s incident.  We must let that investigation proceed unimpeded and without speculation. 

In the meantime, we will keep the family of our fallen officer -- and his fellow officers – foremost in our mind and provide them whatever support they require.  I know nothing we can say will properly assuage their grief, but I hope they know we mourn with them.