House and Senate Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that late U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” F. Evans, who was killed in the line of duty on April 2, will lie in honor in the United States Capitol rotunda.
Evans, who was an 18-year veteran of the force and father of two, was killed when a man rammed his car into a barrier at the Capitol, striking Evans and another officer and then lunging at the officers with a knife. The other officer struck during the attack was released from a hospital on Saturday. The attacker was fatally shot by police.
“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement. “On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful.”
A statement from Evans’ family on Tuesday called Evans “the best father, son, brother, and friend anyone could ever hope for.”
“His death has left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled,” the statement said.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
Because of ongoing public health concerns, the ceremony paying tribute to Evans at the Capitol on April 13 will be open to invited guests only. This will include members of Congress.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, was also given the rare distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol rotunda on Feb. 3.