NORTH ADAMS (CBS) – Billy Evans knew he wanted to be a U.S. Capitol Police Officer from the time he was in college, friends said. “He and one of his best friends actually became Capitol Police officers together, so it was a dream of his in college,” his childhood friend Jason LaForest said. “He carried his badge proudly; spoke of his service proudly.”
Evans was born and raised in North Adams, Massachusetts. His family later moved to Clarksburg. He studied at Western New England University in Springfield before starting a job with the Capitol Police.
Evans was killed Friday afternoon while guarding the perimeter to the Capitol building, when police say a man drove his car into the barricade, hitting Evans and one other officer.
“It’s just been a shock ever since,” Evans’ college roommate Matt Derry told WBZ. “Fighting back tears all afternoon. Trying to make sense of it all and knowing there’s none to be had.”
Friends remembered Evans as the prankster of the bunch, always cracking a joke and making people in any room laugh. “He was always happy, always laughing, just that kind of person,” Derry said.
“He was well loved. Active in sports, baseball, golf, bowling,” LaForest added. “He certainly was well liked and he had a lot of friends so [his death] will have a big impact on our community.”
Evans’ family members still live in the North Adams area. Friends say he had recently turned 41, and was the proud father of a daughter and son.
His death – in the national spotlight – is hard for them to process. “Bill will be a number for some but for those of us who knew and loved him, it will be a long process of mourning his death and missing his friendship,” LaForest said. “It never really hits home until it’s somebody that you’re close to or somebody that you know,” Derry added.