NYPD escorts Pentagon police officer killed in knife attack ahead of Brooklyn funeral
The New York City Police Department on Wednesday escorted the body of Pentagon police officer George Gonzalez, killed in a knife attack outside Department of Defense headquarters in his hometown of Brooklyn before his funeral scheduled for next week.
A video shared online by the NYPD Highway Patrol showed a police car marked with its flashing lights in mind as a hearse carrying the “hero” Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer followed closely behind. At least half a dozen black police SUVs also with their lights on followed in a procession.
“Let’s never forget the ultimate sacrifice he made,” the NYPD Highway Patrol tweeted.
Gonzalez, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, was killed on August 3 when the FBI said an individual got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center in Arlington, Va., Around 10:40 a.m. and l ‘attacked without provocation. A scuffle ensued with the suspect, identified as Austin William Lanz, 27, who fatally wounded Gonzalez before shooting himself with the officer’s duty weapon.
PENTAGON OFFICER KILLED IN DAGGER ATTACK IDENTIFIED AS ARMY VETERIN WHO SERVED IN IRAQ
Other officers hired Lanz, who died at the scene, the FBI said.
Last week, law enforcement and first responders once again paid tribute to Gonzalez as his body was brought to a funeral home in Washington, DC, leaving the care of the medical examiner. On Friday, his girlfriend and brother were accompanied by Pentagon Police Chief Woody Kusse as they laid flowers on a police mourning vehicle outside the medical examiner’s office, WJLA reported.
The trailer was greeted by DC fire and EMS personnel as it made its way to the funeral home. In addition to the ground units that paid tribute, fire boats gave a nautical salute as the procession passed over the John Philip Sousa Bridge.
Gonzalez joined the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as a police officer on July 22, 2018. A veteran of the military and police, he previously served in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Transportation Security Administration and the US military.
He received the Army Medal of Honor for his service in Iraq. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he was a die-hard Yankees fan, the Pentagon Protection Agency said in a statement. He graduated from Canarsie High School in New York City.
“We are heartbroken over the death of our son and brother, but we are very, very proud of the life he has lived,” his family said in a statement.
“George dedicated his life to serving his country; first in the military, then, as a police officer, he continued to serve protecting the military and citizens of this country. He had a contagious personality. and was fiercely loved by his family and friends. He loved his country, his family and the Yankees. He was one of the good guys with a big heart, and he will always be missed. ”
While no motive was disclosed for the attack, court records obtained by The Associated Press showed Lanz was arrested in April in Cobb County, Ga., For criminal trespassing and burglary.
On the same day, another criminal case was filed against Lanz with six additional counts, including two counts of aggravated bodily harm against the police, one count of terrorist threat and one charge of rioting in a prison facility. Lanz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in October 2012, but was “administratively separated” less than a month later and never earned the title of Marine.
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Lanz’s family issued a statement expressing sorrow for the loss of Gonzalez and thanking the officer’s family “for their service and dedication to the safety and well-being of our country.”
The statement also detailed how Lanz had dealt with “many mental health issues” in the last months of his life. Despite the time spent in the criminal justice system, hospital stays and mental health assessment, Lanz’s family said he had never been diagnosed and “was unable to manage his mental health sufficiently or get the help he desperately needed, ”WJLA reported.