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Two weeks before he allegedly rammed his car into two police officers guarding the U.S. Capitol, killing one of them, Noah Green posted an article on his Facebook page titled, “Lull Before the Storm.”
“An Intro to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his divine warning to us all during these last days of our world as we know it. Satan’s rule over us is up,” the 25-year-old’s apocalyptic post said, linking to an article from Final Call, the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam.
Green’s social media posts suggest he was spiraling in the lead up to the attack on Friday. On the eve of his alleged assault, his brother, Brendan Green, told The Washington Post, he sent a worrying text after leaving the apartment where they lived together for the past few months.
“I’m sorry but I’m just going to go and live and be homeless. Thank you for everything that you’ve done. I looked up to you when I was a kid. You inspired me a lot,” the text reportedly read.
That message—and the deadly attack that occurred less than 24 hours later—capped off a period that was riddled with red flags.
As congressional staff grabbed lunch on Friday, Green allegedly rammed his dark blue sedan into two officers guarding a barricade on a road outside the Capitol.
He then jumped out of the car and lunged at officers with a knife, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said, prompting them to fatally shoot him. A senior law enforcement official confirmed to The Daily Beast that Green was the suspect, though he has not yet been officially identified by police. One Capitol Police officer, William “Billy” Evans, died, and a second officer was left hospitalized. He was said to be in stable condition late Friday.
Pittman said the suspect was not known to Capitol Police before the attack and there was no indication of “any nexus” to members of Congress. She also said there was no ongoing threat and the suspect didn’t yell anything before being shot. She said that, while an investigation was ongoing, it did not appear to be “terrorism-related.”
Green’s social media posts last month described searching for “a spiritual journey” within the Nation of Islam, a religious Muslim sect that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group for its “bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites” and “deeply racist, antisemitic and anti-gay rhetoric.”
In a statement on Saturday, Green’s family expressed sympathy for the officer who was killed on Friday, and said they were “just as taken aback as the rest of the nation from this horrific event.”
Still, the family said, Green suffered from depression and potential mental illness, and had “likely fell ill to the multitude of problematic situations that surround us in today’s society.” They also suggested head injuries he sustained playing football may have contributed to his mental state.
Nothing indicated a clear motive for targeting the police, nor the U.S. Capitol building located hours from both the Indianapolis apartment he had recently lived in, and the semi-rural part of Virginia he grew up in.
In two lengthy March 17 posts on Green’s Facebook profile, which was taken down shortly after the incident, Green wrote about losing his job and being unwittingly drugged. He said it was a “major goal” to meet Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
There was no immediate indication that Friday’s attack was religiously motivated, and the Nation of Islam’s Virginia branch and D.C. headquarters did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Green wrote about suffering unspecified setbacks in his life recently.
“To be honest these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” he wrote in the March 17 post. “I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life. I am currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey.”
Despite the lack of a job, he posted an image of a certificate that said he’d donated $1,085 to the Nation of Islam as a “Saviours’ Day 2021” gift.
Green’s brother, Brendan, told the Post that Noah had become paranoid in 2019 and accused football teammates of drugging him with Xanax. He moved out to his own apartment and then abruptly moved to Indianapolis, where he believed there were intruders getting into his apartment. It was around that time that Brendan said he flew out to see his brother and realized his “mind didn’t seem right.”
More recently, his brother said, Green up and moved to Botswana and suggested he had tried to take his own life by jumping in front of a car.
After he returned home, Noah Green appeared to view the Nation of Islam as a way to keep himself anchored.
In his most recent social media posts, Green wrote that he had been faced with “fear, hunger, loss of wealth, and diminution of fruit” in recent months, and was being sustained by faith “centered on the belief of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Jesus, the Messiah.”
He posted that he had graduated with distinction, landed a good job out of college, and pursued a graduate degree “despite not growing up in the best of circumstances.” He said he was on track to go into business, but his path was “thwarted.”
Green wrote that he partially blamed his setbacks on the “array of concerning symptoms” he suffered as “side effects of drugs I was intaking unknowingly”—perhaps alluding to the alleged incident in 2019.
Green played football in high school, and a bio from Christopher Newport University said he was born in Fairlea, West Virginia, and has seven brothers and two sisters. He grew up in a semi-rural area in Covington, Virginia. Calls to his siblings and parents went unanswered on Friday.
Public records show he enrolled in a graduate course at Florida State University this year, after majoring in marketing at Glenville State College.
In the Christopher Newport bio, he said his dream vacation spot was Jamaica and the person he’d most like to meet was Malcolm X.
Friends appeared shocked that the outgoing, football-playing, marketing student they knew was the same person they saw being stretchered from the Capitol on Friday.
“He was always super sweet to me and all of his friends loved him, we were all sad to see him leave Glenville,” Alaina Funk, a friend of the suspect, told The Daily Beast.
It was unclear from his Facebook page how recently he became involved with Nation of Islam. Older posts centered around football and college rather than religion. His grandmother, who died in 2019 from a long illness, was Baptist, her obituary said.
But, by March, Green’s posts appeared to be consumed by religious warnings about the end days.
“I encourage everyone to study Revelations, study the signs of the end times, study who the beast is, study who the anti-Christ is, study who the false prophet is, and study the created images during those times. The Minister is here to save me and the rest of humanity, even if it means facing death,” he wrote on March 17, before ominously ending the post with, “We have a little time.”
Court records in Indiana, where he temporarily lived in an Indianapolis apartment, show that he sought to change his name recently. In December 2020, he filed a petition to legally change his name to Noah Zaeem Muhammad.
But after he failed to show up for a hearing earlier this week and the court apparently did not hear from him, the matter was dismissed and the case declared “closed.”
—with reporting by Pilar Melendez