The suspect was a one-time college jock whose troubling recent behavior included bizarre social media posts and rampant paranoia. The victim was an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, a familiar and friendly figure inside the Washington, D.C. landmark.
Details emerged Saturday about the disparate lives of knife-wielding Noah Green, 25, killed after slamming his car into a security barricade outside the Capitol one day earlier, and highly-regarded Officer William “Billy” Evans.
“Always either a kind word or a good morning,” recalled Washington-based CNN producer Kristin Wilson of the Massachusetts-born law enforcer, survived by his mom and two kids. “Just a really pleasant guy. Never an unkind word.”
Green, a former college football player, struggled with mental health issues in his final years. His brother Brendan told the Washington Post that his younger sibling grew increasingly paranoid, threatening suicide and asking for help in a recent teary phone call.
Plagued by hallucinations, heart palpitations and headaches, he moved into Brendan’s Virginia apartment about two weeks before taking his car for one final, fatal ride.
Noah’s “mind didn’t seem right,” his brother told the Post, recounting his sibling’s suspicions of people breaking into his apartment and claims that he was dosed with Xanax by former football teammates at Christopher Newport University.
On the night before his death, Noah Green became violently ill in his brother’s apartment and later sent Brendan a disturbing text.
“I’m sorry but I’m just going to go and live and be homeless,” read the text, recounted in the Post. “Thank you for everything you’ve done. I looked up to you when I was a kid. You inspired me a lot.”
Noah Green had lived in Indianapolis before a trip to Africa earlier this year. His Facebook page listed Green as a follower of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and he signed off on some posts as “Brother X.”
He was born in Fairlea, West Virginia, and left behind seven sisters and two brothers.
College football teammate Andre Toran, a features writer with the Louisville Courier-Journal, recalled him as a quiet guy and a solid teammate before Green’s behavior became increasingly odd.
“To be honest these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” Green wrote in one social media post captured by the online tracking group SITE. “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.”
Another report cited a December name change petition filed with an Indiana court, with the slain man seeking to change his name from Noah Ricardo Green to Noah Zaeem Muhammad.
Evans, survived by his mom Janice and kids Logan and Abigail, served with the Capitol Police for nearly two decades. He was assigned to the department’s First Responder’s Unit.
The native of North Adams, Massachusetts, graduated from Western New England University in 2002 before moving to Virginia and landed his Capitol police job on March 7, 2003.
“He was held in high regard by the force and Capitol staff,” said Terrance Gainer, the Capitol Police chief when Evans was hired. “The officers are crushed, their resilience stretched.”
The deaths reignited the debate over building security. Green drove through a gate opened to to allow traffic in and out of the Capitol before slamming into a barrier erected long before the Jan. 6 invasion after a rally where President Trump amped up the crowd with his bogus claims of election fraud.
Just last month, Sen. Mitch McConnell suggested it was time to dismantle the extra fencing.
“I think we’ve overdone it,” said the Kentucky Republican. “It looks terrible to have the beacon of our democracy surrounded by razor wire and National Guard troops.”
The death of Evans in Friday’s assault put security concerns about the Capitol in a different light.
“This may just cause everybody to pump the brakes a bit on taking the fence down entirely because of the sense of security that it provides us,” said Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va.