Florida leaders mourn Capitol attack
Police officers gather near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill. Image via AP.

Capitol barrier crash
Good Friday saw another attack on Capitol Police.

Good Friday saw another attack on the U.S. Capitol, with one yet to be named officer killed, another wounded, and the attacker dead. And Florida leaders are taking stock of it all, with sober assessments of the latest in the series of assaults on the citadel of democracy.

“We are all horrified by this tragic & cowardly attack on U.S. Capitol police officers. We are heartbroken for their families, loved ones & the entire force. May God bless them in this time of unbearable grief & protect them in the days ahead,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said.

Rubio’s Senate colleague, Rick Scott, offered condolences and condemnation also.

The violence at the Capitol today against our brave Capitol Police is senseless and disgusting. Ann and I are praying for the injured officers and our thoughts are with their families and loved ones,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis offered similar comments, as did many from the Florida delegation.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the Capitol Police officer who tragically lost their life today and the officer who is currently hospitalized from injuries sustained while defending the Capitol Building. Our law enforcement community puts themselves in harms way every day in order to keep us safe. We owe them and their families an immeasurable debt of gratitude. I will continue to monitor the situation as more information becomes available,” Bilirakis tweeted.

Some, such as U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, offered assurances to constituents and well-wishers.

“I’m safely in Florida and my D.C. team is safe in Washington today,” the rookie Republican tweeted.

Added U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor:I am extremely saddened by the death of Officer William Evans and the injury of another officer during today’s tragic events. I am sending love and prayers to families, friends and our Capitol Police. Your vigilance and devotion is selfless and honorable today and everyday,” asserted the Tampa Democrat.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist offered his own words of solace.

“My heart and thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the Capitol Police Officer who died in the line of duty today. This is a senseless tragedy. I pray the Lord wraps the officer, their family, and the Capitol Police in warm embrace during this difficult time,” he said.

“Praying for the families and personnel of the U.S. Capitol Police, who have been through so much. Heartbreaking,” asserted U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch was one of a number of legislators to refer to heartbreak in their comments.

“Heartbroken to learn that one USCP officer has died in the attack on the Capitol today. I will continue to pray for the other officer injured and all of the USCP who guard our nation’s Capitol and protect all of us who work in it,” Deutch tweeted.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart tweeted that he was “heartbroken to hear of the Capitol Police officer who risked it all and paid the ultimate price protecting our nation’s Capitol today.”

“I’m praying for his family as well as the other officer injured on the scene. I thank USCP for their bravery and courage,” the South Florida Republican added.

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds also tweeted a picture of his office, with a sign of gratitude, asserting that “Before entering my office, visitors, staff, & I pay tribute to the brave men & women who protect the Capitol with this sign thanking them for their selfless service. Thank you always, USCP.”

“Erika & I are praying for the officer who tragically lost their life paying the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation & the United States Capitol Building. Our thoughts & prayers are with the family of the fallen officer & for the brave heroes of the USCP. Psalm 34:18,” Donalds tweeted.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the Capitol police officers who were injured and killed today. Another terrible reminder of the bravery of our USCP officers who put their lives on the line to keep us and our democracy safe,” asserted South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel.

“Thank you to the USCP who heroically put their lives on the line every day for our safety. This has been a difficult year for the thousands of Americans who work on Capitol Hill. We must lean on one another during these challenging times,” added U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat from North Florida

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy spoke in similar terms.

“Heartbroken to hear we’ve lost yet another Capitol Police officer this year to violence at the U.S. Capitol. Sending my condolences to this officer’s loved ones. My thoughts are with the entire Capitol Police community. We are grateful for your service,” asserted the Central Florida Democrat.

“Today’s deadly incident is a tragic reminder of the daily risks the brave men and women of the Capitol Police face. My prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased officer who gave their life in service to our nation,” asserted U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, a former Jacksonville Sheriff.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto: “My heart goes out to the family of the fallen USCP officer who died protecting our Capitol. We pray for the injured officer & the entire Capitol Police community who work to keep us safe every day. These senseless acts of violence must stop.”

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, a Southwest Florida Republican, appealed to God in his comments: “My prayers are with the family of the brave Capitol Police Officer who lost their life in today’s attack. I also pray that the other officer who was injured makes a full recovery. God bless all of the officers who protect us each day.”

“We stand with our Capitol Hill Police and law enforcement. Thank you for what you do day in and day out,” tweeted Northeast Florida Republican Rep. Mike Waltz.

South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson was “saddened to learn that we’ve lost another member of our U.S. Capitol Police family. Their family is in my thoughts and prayers.”

State leaders also offered their own sympathies and condolences, including Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried: “My heart is broken for the U.S. Capitol Police officers attacked today & I’m keeping their loved ones in my thoughts. This senseless violence cannot continue.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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