FBI: Man stabbed Pentagon officer 'without provocation,' shot himself with officer's gun

New details are emerging in the deadly attack at a Pentagon transit center


By Thomas Hartwell
Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.

ARLINGTON, Va. — A Cobb County man has been named as the suspect in Tuesday's fatal stabbing of a Pentagon officer in Arlington, Virginia, the FBI confirmed to the MDJ.

A Pentagon police officer died after being stabbed at a transit center outside the building, and the suspect, 27-year-old Austin William Lanz, of Acworth, died at the scene, according to the FBI.

Police are looking at a scene and items are seen on the ground near a Metrobus outside the Pentagon Metro area, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 at the Pentagon in Washington.
Police are looking at a scene and items are seen on the ground near a Metrobus outside the Pentagon Metro area, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

FBI officials say at about 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Lanz got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center in Arlington, Virginia and "immediately, without provocation, attacked Pentagon Force Protection Agency Officer George Gonzalez with a knife, severely wounding him."

During the ensuing struggle, Lanz "mortally wounded" Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer's weapon, an FBI statement reads. Other Pentagon PFPA officers fired at Lanz, who died at the scene, the FBI said.

A civilian bystander injured in the incident was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening and later released. The FBI Washington Field Office responded to the incident, along with the PFPA, Metro Transit Police and the Arlington County Police Department. The FBI is investigating the attack.

Cobb Police and sheriff's office officials say an Austin William Lanz was known to local police.

According to court records, Lanz faced burglary and criminal trespassing charges in April stemming from an incident in the early morning hours on April 24.

In that incident, police say a camera system caught Lanz forcing his way into the rear door of an Acworth home "with what appears to be a crowbar in hand," and staying in the home for around 15 minutes without taking anything.

When police were arresting him for burglary, Lanz responded, "but I didn't take anything," and said police were flying planes over the neighborhood and had been tracking his phone, a warrant shows.

The same warrant indicates Lanz had been caught on camera in June 2020 and February 2021 just before 5 a.m. leaving "inappropriate photographs and notes" in the mailbox of an Acworth resident.

Cobb Sheriff's Office records show he was charged in a separate April 24 case 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 Cobb County Superior Court Clerk's office told the MDJ they could not locate any records related to the latter case.

(c)2021 Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.

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