Capitol Police Name Suspect in Violent Attack

Capitol Police Name Suspect in Violent Attack

( – Police have arrested a man who allegedly walked into a congressman’s district office and assaulted his staff with a baseball bat. It looks like the legislator himself was the real target. The attack happened in Fairfax, Virginia, on Monday and left two people injured.

On May 15, a 49-year-old Fairfax man identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham walked into the district office of Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA). Xuan asked to speak to the congressman, but when staff told him Connolly wasn’t there he hauled out a metal baseball bat and went on a violent rampage. Two staffers received non-life threatening injuries and had to be taken to hospital. The Fairfax City Police Department was called; officers responded and arrested Xuan.

Because the attack involved a congressman’s office, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) Threat Assessment Section is working with Fairfax police on the investigation. Based on an initial assessment, the Capital Police have not yet determined why Xuan launched his attack, but the fact he asked for Connolly suggests the congressman himself was the real target.

The USCP statement refers to comments the department’s chief, Tom Manger, made in April about the growing threat to politicians. Manger said that over the last six years, the number of threats made to members of Congress has increased by about 400%. The most serious threats, the ones the Threat Assessment Section investigates, have also increased sharply, from 3,939 in 2017 to 8,613 by 2020, and peaking in 2021 at 9,625 cases. Last year it fell to 7,501 cases, but that’s still frighteningly high.

In 2021, because of the growing threat to legislators, the USCP felt it had to expand its operations beyond the Capitol itself. It now has field offices in Florida and California, the states where politicians get the most threats.

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