On Friday, an intruder, identified as David DePape by authorities, assaulted Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer in the couple's San Francisco home, shouting, "Where is Nancy?" law enforcement say.
According to reports, the intruder attempted to bind Pelosi "until Nancy got home."
Pelosi reportedly contacted 911 when he saw the aggressive man and left the line open so a dispatcher could hear his interaction with DePape, expressing secretly but clearly that he needed help.
According to the city's police chief, Pelosi was struggling against DePape when San Francisco officers entered the house on Friday at 2:27 am local time (5:27 am ET).
Officers witnessed DePape "violently assault" Pelosi with the hammer before they knocked him to the ground and took him into custody.
Police chief William Scott of San Francisco said at a news conference on Friday that the attack was "intentional" and "not a random act," though authorities have not yet disclosed a motive for it.
According to authorities, the suspect is being treated at a hospital for minor injuries. According to three sources briefed on the investigation, DePape was unknown to U.S. Capitol Police and was not in any government databases tracking threats. However, he has shared memes and conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election, COVID-19 vaccines, and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Facebook.
"We are coordinating closely with federal and local law enforcement partners on this investigation. We will bring forward multiple felony charges on Monday and expect [suspect David DePape] to be arraigned on Tuesday," San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins tweeted Friday evening. "DePape will be held accountable for his heinous crimes."
An outpouring of sympathy and outrage from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle followed the incident, which sent shockwaves through Washington. In light of the January 6 uprising and other prominent violent episodes that have targeted lawmakers in recent years, it has also highlighted concerns about political violence targeted at lawmakers.
The attack on Paul Pelosi was called "despicable" by President Joe Biden, who also clearly linked it to the rise of right-wing extremism.
After the incident, Pelosi was rushed to the hospital and underwent "successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands," according to Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Mrs. Pelosi, in a statement released early Friday evening. He is expected to make full recovery.