Suspect in Pelosi home invasion attack had zip ties, duct tape: Sources

Federal charges remain a possibility as officials investigate the attack.

October 30, 2022, 3:48 PM

The suspect arrested in the violent home invasion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco residence and the hammer attack on her 82-year-old husband, was carrying a bag that contained duct tape and zip ties, two law enforcement officials briefed on the probe told ABC News Sunday.

Investigators discovered the contents of the bag that suspect David Depape had with him at the time of the attack, after securing the necessary search warrants to open it, the sources said

The zip ties, in particular, echoed what multiple suspects in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington were carrying, including some who made it inside the building as they searched for officials, including Pelosi, in order to take them captive, officials said.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, whose office is responsible for the case and prosecution, told ABC News she would not comment on the evidence retrieved because of the ongoing investigation.

Federal and local investigators are looking into the background and movements of a man accused of breaking into Pelosi's home. More search warrants are being sought and/or executed, sources told ABC News.

Police identified the suspect as 42-year-old Depape, accusing him of attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer when officers responded to a priority well-being check on Friday at 2:27 a.m. local time.

Federal charges are not necessarily imminent, but remain a real possibility given the early evidence suggesting the suspect appeared to be motivated to allegedly break into the home, at least in part, to reach the speaker, according to sources. 

Social media posts, which authorities are increasingly confident are from the suspect, are described as strongly anti-government, and are one of the investigation's focal points as of now, to see if an exact motive can be ascertained. 

The attack was intentional, not random, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said Friday.

In the early morning hours on Friday, the suspect, is allegedly seen approaching the home and breaking in through a sliding glass door.

Once inside, the suspect allegedly moves about and then at some point starts asking where the speaker is.

There is then a confrontation with Paul Pelosi. Sources are unsure how long this went on before police arrived.

PHOTO: Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, is pictured at the Vatican, Oct. 9, 2021.
Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, is pictured at the Vatican, Oct. 9, 2021.
Vatican Media/via Reuters, FILE

Responding officers arrived on the scene to find Paul Pelosi and Depape both with one hand on a hammer when they responded to the home, police said Friday.

When they commanded both men to drop the weapon, "Mr. Depape took the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently attacked him with the hammer," Scott told reporters during a press briefing Friday evening.

Paul Pelosi was struck at least twice, sources told ABC News. It is unclear if both blows happened in the presence of police or if one occurred before they arrived. 

Officers then tackled the suspect and disarmed him, according to police.

Paul Pelosi underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair a skull fracture and "serious injuries" to his right arm and hands after he was "violently assaulted" by the suspect, according to a spokesperson. Two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News his injuries are "significant."

President Joe Biden said he spoke to the speaker and her husband earlier on Saturday and that Paul Pelosi "seems to be doing a lot better."

"Looks like he's going to recover fully," Biden told reporters.

He also noted that it appears the speaker was the intended target.

"I don't know for certain, but it looks like this was intended for Nancy. Kept asking, 'Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?'" Biden said.

ABC News' Molly Nagle and Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.

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