The career U.S. Capitol Police officer, William “Billy” Evans, was killed in the line of duty this past Friday afternoon by a 25-year-old man who attacked him and another officer with a car. It is planned that he will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda later on this month, congressional leadership stated early Tuesday morning.
Evans was a 41-year old father of two and “was quickly transported to a local hospital in a United States Capitol Police cruiser with life-threatening injuries,” but later passed away in the hospital, according to U.S. Capitol Police. Evans is set to be one of the few private citizens to ever lie in honor. The ceremony for this will take place on April 13th and will have a private viewing.
“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) commented in a statement early on Tuesday.
“It is our hope that this tribute will be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans, particularly his children Logan and Abigail, as will the knowledge that so many Americans mourn with and pray for them at this sad time. May this tribute also be a source of comfort and an expression of gratitude to the U.S. Capitol Police Force, which has awed our nation with their courage and resilience during this devastating time,” they continued.
There have been very few private citizens who have lain in honor. The most recent of them before this one was Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police Officer, who was injured in the 2021 Capitol riot and later died in the hospital. There have been many, however, that have lain in state, which is a ceremony traditionally reserved for eminent government figures and military officers.
With an 18 year career with the U.S. Capitol police, Evans was fatally struck with a car this past Friday in an attack. The other officer caught in the attack was hospitalized but had been released. The offender, after striking the two officers and leaping out, ran at a third officer with a large knife but was subsequently fatally shot by capital police.
“Billy was the best father, son, brother, and friend anyone could ever hope for,” Evans’ family stated in a release on Monday. “His death has left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled.”
The family continued, “The absolute most important thing in his life was his two children, Logan and Abigail. His most cherished moments were those spent with them — building with Lego, having lightsaber duels, playing board games, doing arts and crafts, and recently finishing the Harry Potter series. He was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did. Any opportunity to spend time with his children brightened both their lives and his. Their dad was their hero long before the tragic events of last week.”