New attack on US Capitol that left one officer and suspect dead does not appear to be related to terrorism, police say.

Police officers gather near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 2, 2021
Police officers gather near a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 2, 2021 (AP)

A police officer has died after he and a colleague were rammed by a vehicle near the US Capitol, less than three months after the Congress was stormed by a far-right mob, police said.

"One of our officers has succumbed to his injuries," Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of US Capitol Police, told a news conference on Friday.

She confirmed that the suspect had also been pronounced dead following the attack.

Capitol Police shot dead the driver after he jumped out of the car and lunged at them with a knife, Pittman told reporters.

The officer killed in incident was William Evans, who has been on the force for 18 years, Acting US CapitolPolice Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.

Not a 'terrorism-related' incident 

No information was available on the identity of the attacker or his motivation, but Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee indicated that a terror link was not suspected at this stage.

"It does not appear to be terrorism-related, but obviously we will continue to investigate," said Contee.

Streets surrounding the US Capitol and congressional office buildings were locked down, with a heavy police presence, an eyewitness said.

Television footage showed a blue sedan that had crashed into a security barrier on one of the streets leading to Congress, as what appeared to be the wounded officers were loaded onto gurneys and into ambulances.

Heightened security

The attack came amid tightened security in Washington after the January 6 insurrection by supporters of then-president Donald Trump.

In that attack, hundreds smashed into the Capitol building yelling threats against politicians and shutting down the legislature.

One Capitol Police officer died as a result of the attack, as well as four others individuals who took part or were nearby.

Since then security officials have said there is an ongoing threat from extreme-right groups and Trump supporters.

More than 300 people have been charged in the January attack, including members of armed extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and 100 more are expected to be charged, according to Justice Department court.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies