Crime scene near the Pentagon
Photo: JIM LO SCALZO / EPA
After a violent incident, the US Department of Defense was cordoned off for a short time on Tuesday morning (local time).
According to the head of the Pentagon Police Department, Woodrow Kusse, a member of his unit was attacked, followed by an exchange of fire.
Several people were injured.
It was later reported that a police officer had been killed.
In the evening these reports were then officially confirmed.
"The Pentagon Force Protection Agency mourns one of their police officers who was killed in the incident at the Pentagon this morning," said the Pentagon police via tweet.
The Federal Police FBI has started an investigation.
Police chief Kusse did not want to comment on further details - such as the course of the incident, the number of injured or the background to the attack - and justified this with ongoing investigations.
There are different descriptions of the attack in the US media.
It is unclear, among other things, whether the policeman was shot or stabbed.
Attack happened near the subway station
The Pentagon is located directly on the Washington city limits in the state of Virginia.
The incident on Tuesday took place on the premises of the public transport station at the Pentagon, according to official information.
There was last a mysterious shooter attack at a checkpoint near a subway entrance in 2010: An armed attacker opened fire at the main entrance of the US Department of Defense and injured two security guards.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was not in the building at the time of the attack but was kept informed of the situation.
Austin later offered condolences to the relatives of the killed officer and ordered the flags to be raised at half mast over the Pentagon.
jok / dpa