Political

Questions remain about motive in Friday's Capitol attack

ALFSnaiper/iStockBy Jack Date and Luke Barr, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Authorities continue to search for a motive in the deadly vehicle ramming attack at the Capitol that left one Capitol Police officer dead and another officer injured.

The suspect, Noah Green, was killed by police after he exited his vehicle and moved towards officer with a knife, authorities said.

Investigators continue to examine details Green’s life and what may have led him to a violent end, combing through social media postings and examining his movements during his final weeks. One question: Were there any indications of mental illness or triggering events he experienced?

In social media posts, Green indicated on his Facebook page on March 17 that “these past few years have been tough and these past few months have been tougher.” The 25-year-old also says he left his job due to “afflictions.”

Green’s Facebook page makes several references to the Nation of Islam. “One thing I’m assured everyone can lean on, as I’ve leaned on, is faith in the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as the man who can carry us through the dark hour,” Green’s wrote in a March 17 post.

In a separate March 17 Facebook post, Green writes, “I encourage everyone to study Revelations, study the signs of end times, study who the beast is, study who the anti-Christ is, study who the false prophet is, and study the created images during those times.”

It is unclear if Green’s religious beliefs were a factor in Friday’s incident or if his faith may have been a factor that kept him from unravelling sooner.

Last December, while living in Indiana, Green filed a petition with the Marion County Circuit Court to change his name to Noah Zaeem Muhammad. The petition was dismissed for an apparent failure to appear for a hearing on March 30, just three days before the attack, according to court records.

The Washington Post reported Green’s family members had, in recent years, become concerned about his mental state and suicidal thoughts. The possibility that the attack was staged to provoke a “suicide by cop” scenario is also being examined by investigators, sources say.

Over the weekend, the Capitol Police union said that members were ‘reeling’ after Friday’s attack.

“This attack, combined with the violent events of the January 6th insurrection, have left our officers reeling,” union chairman Gus Papathanasiou said. “Evans was well respected within the department and his loss will not be forgotten. People should also know he was more than a police officer protecting the Capitol – he was a husband and a loving father to two children. Please keep the entire Evans family in your prayers as they go through this difficult time.”

Papathanasiou said that over 500 officers are set to retire in the next 3-5 years, and many younger officers have approached him about leaving for other departments.

“I could not be prouder of them. They continue to work even as we rapidly approach a crisis in morale and force numbers,” he said. “We are struggling to meet existing mission requirements even with the officers working massive amounts of forced overtime.”

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