Skip to Content

CNN Exclusive: Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack had bag with zip ties, source says


By Jamie Gangel and Whitney Wild, CNN

The man who is alleged to have attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer in the couple’s San Francisco home had with him a bag that contained multiple zip ties, among other things, according to two sources who have been briefed on the incident.

In addition to the zip ties, the suspect also had duct tape on him, according to a law enforcement source.

David DePape, 42, faces charges of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and other felonies in relation to the Friday morning attack, said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

The hammer that was used to assault Paul Pelosi was brought by DePape, according to a law enforcement source and a senior congressional aide briefed on the assault.

Neither source knew of any other weapons found when DePape was detained.

DePape went upstairs into the bedroom where Paul Pelosi was sleeping, according to San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Communications Director Randy Quezada. The two did not know each other prior to the attack, Quezada said.

NBC News was first to report that DePape went to the bedroom. CNN previously reported that DePape confronted Pelosi and asked where his wife was, shouting, “Where is Nancy?”

The new details add further understanding of what transpired during Friday’s attack, in which DePape also tried to tie up Paul Pelosi, two sources told CNN on Friday.

The cries of “Where is Nancy” had echoes of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

While police have not yet determined a motive, they believe DePape was intentional about going into the house.

Police have said that DePape entered the home through a backdoor and it wasn’t clear if he circumvented any security measures.

Paul Pelosi was able to call 911 at the start of the attack, a law enforcement source and another source familiar with the matter previously said. He managed to keep the line open and the dispatcher could hear a conversation in the background, speaking surreptitiously but making it clear that he needed help, according to the law enforcement source.

San Francisco police entered the home around 2:27 a.m. local time Friday (5:27 a.m. ET) to find Pelosi struggling over a hammer with DePape, according to the city’s police chief. Officers saw DePape “violently assault” Pelosi with the hammer before they tackled him to the ground and arrested him.

“Officers, while still outside of the doorway threshold, gave commands to both men to drop the hammer. Mr. DePape immediately pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently attacked him with the hammer,” Scott said in a Friday news conference. “The officers immediately entered, tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took the hammer away from him, and took the suspect, Mr. DePape, into custody.”

DePape is expected to be charged with multiple felonies on Monday and arraigned Tuesday, according to San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, though a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN that federal officials remain in discussions over whether to charge DePape.

The specific charge being contemplated is 18 USC 115, which makes it a federal crime “to assault, kidnap, or murder a family member of certain Federal officials,” the source said. The decision on whether to move forward with a federal prosecution could come as early as this week, the source added.

Pelosi was taken to a hospital after the attack and underwent a “successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement early Friday evening. Paul Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.

Nancy Pelosi said in a letter Saturday to all members of the US House of Representatives that her husband continues to improve following the attack but their children and grandchildren “are heartbroken and traumatized.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Josh Campbell, Natasha Chen, Shawna Mizelle and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓



KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content