What we know about David DePape, the suspect in the Paul Pelosi attack

David DePape is facing federal charges for allegedly breaking into the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacking her husband Paul Pelosi in the early morning hours of October 28.

Mr Pelosi, 82, was hospitalized with serious skull injuries following the attack at the couple’s home in San Francisco.

On Monday, the FBI filed a criminal complaint against Mr. DePape, 42, outlining charges of assaulting an immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

According to the complaint, he repeatedly shouted “where’s Nancy?” when confronted by Mr Pelosi after breaking into the house armed with a hammer, zip ties, duct tape and rope.

Mr. DePape was previously to be charged with attempted homicide, among other charges, according to police.

David DePape is shown in Berkeley, California in 2013.

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David DePape is shown in Berkeley, California in 2013.


Here, The Independent breaks down everything we know about the attack suspect, Mr. DePape, so far.

What happened during the attack?

Mr. DePape entered the San Francisco home through a glass door shortly after 2 a.m. on October 28, according to the criminal complaint.

The suspect repeatedly shouted “Where’s Nancy?” when he confronted Mr Pelosi, who was alone at the time of the burglary.

“When Pelosi told him Nancy wasn’t there, DePape said he was going to sit down and wait,” the complaint read. “Pelosi said his wife wouldn’t be home for several days, then DePape reiterated he would wait.”

“DePape said he wanted to tie Pelosi up so DePape could fall asleep because he was tired from having to carry a backpack to the Pelosi residence,” at which point he began to “get out of the ties twisted from his pocket so he could hold Pelosi back. Pelosi moved to another part of the house, but DePape stopped him and together they went back to the bedroom.”

That’s when Mr Pelosi walked into the bathroom and called 911.

“DePape recalled thinking there was no way the police would forget about the phone call,” the complaint states. “DePape explained that he didn’t leave after Pelosi called 911 because, much like the American Founding Fathers with the British, he was fighting tyranny with no ability to surrender.”

According to the complaint, Mr. DePape said they got off.

“Police came and knocked on the door, and Pelosi ran and opened it. Pelosi grabbed DePape’s gavel, which was in Depape’s hand,” the forensic filing reads. interview, DePape reiterated that DePape had no intention of surrendering and would go through ‘Pelosi’.”

“DePape said he pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and swung it at Pelosi. DePape explained that Pelosi’s actions resulted in Pelosi ‘taking the punishment instead,'” the complaint added.

Officers were dispatched to the family’s home at 2:27 a.m., police said earlier.

When they arrived at the scene, Mr. DePape and Mr. Pelosi were both seen holding a hammer.

The suspect pulled the hammer out of Mr. Pelosi and “violently assaulted him with it”, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said.

Chief Scott added that officers ‘immediately approached’ Mr DePape and took him into custody.

In addition to the weapon allegedly used in the attack, Mr. DePape had also brought with him a bag containing several zip ties and duct tape.

The assailant had also attempted to tie Mr Pelosi ‘until Nancy came home’ and expressed his desire to ‘cut the knee’ to Ms Pelosi, according to the complaint.

Mr Pelosi is said to have suffered blunt force trauma to his head and body and will be treated for significant swelling and bruising, among other injuries.

Mr. Pelosi and Mr. DePape were taken to hospital for treatment. When law enforcement arrived at the residence, the suspect said he was “waiting for Nancy”.

Ahead of Monday’s FBI charging document, Chief Scott said Mr. DePape would be charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary “and many, many other additional crimes”.

Was there a known motive for the attack?

In the FBI’s criminal complaint, FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor described details of the police interview after Mr. DePape’s arrest.

“DePape said he was going to take Nancy hostage and talk to her,” the filing reads. “If Nancy were to tell DePape the ‘truth’, he would let her go, and if she ‘lied’, he was going to break her ‘kneecaps.’ DePape was certain that Nancy would not have told the ‘truth.

“During the interview, DePape explained that he viewed Nancy as the ‘ringleader’ of lies being told by the Democratic Party. DePape also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be carried to Congress, which would show other members of Congress that there were consequences to actions.DePape also explained in general that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another person to DePape.

Police chief William Scott and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins at a press conference to discuss the attack on Paul Pelosi

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Police Chief William Scott and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins at a press conference to discuss the attack on Paul Pelosi

(Getty Pictures)

Mr DePape’s social media profiles allegedly included conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election, the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and Covid-19, according to since-deleted profiles reviewed by CNN and The Wall Street Journal.

San Francisco District Attorney’s Office communications director Randy Quezad confirmed to CNN that the two did not know each other before the attack.

Public posts reviewed by CNN and confirmed to be genuine by Mr. DePape’s family include videos produced by MyPillow CEO and prominent election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, who continues to baselessly allege that widespread fraud had manipulated the outcome of the 2020 election.

Other posts included transphobic imagery, false claims that Covid vaccines are deadly and content surrounding sprawling conspiracy theories involving allegedly corrupt and population-controlling ‘global elites’.

The 42-year-old suspect reportedly had a list of other people he wanted to target besides the Speaker of the House, law enforcement confirmed to CBS News.

The sources told the outlet they wouldn’t go so far as to call the list a “blacklist”, but said they suspected the man could have been planning other attacks on other people.

Sources briefed on the investigation did not reveal the identity of the others on the list.

Paul Pelosi with his wife, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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Paul Pelosi with his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi


What did the suspect’s family say about DePape?

His stepfather Gene DePape told CNN he left Canada 20 years ago after growing up in British Columbia. He reportedly moved to California for a relationship.

A 2013 article in The San Francisco Chronicle identified Mr. DePape as a “hemp jewelry maker” living in a Berkeley home with Gypsy Taub, the couple’s two sons, daughter and one other person.

Mr. DePape’s mother-in-law, Teresa DePape, said The daily beast that “David has always had an opinion”.

“I’m one of those people who thinks everyone has an opinion, and I was raised when sticks and stones would break your bones, but words will never hurt you,” she said. declared at the point of sale. “But hammers are not words.”

A former acquaintance told CNN he was at one point living in a storage unit and “trying to make a new life for himself.”

She then received “really disturbing” emails from him in which he sounded like a “megalomaniac and so out of touch with reality,” she told the network. She reportedly cut off communication with him after determining it was “dangerous” and using “biblical justification to cause harm.”

Another acquaintance told the network that he claimed to speak with angels and said that “there will be trouble ahead.”

Police outside the Pelosis’ home in San Francisco, where the attack took place

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Police outside the Pelosis home in San Francisco, where the attack took place

(Getty Pictures)

Mr DePape’s former partner, Gypsy Taub, told ABC 7 in a Friday night interview that she thought he had been “mentally ill for a long time”.

Taub called the California Institution for Women media outlet in Corona, Calif. Last year, she was found guilty of 20 counts, including the attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old boy near her Berkeley high school.

She met Mr. DePape 20 years ago, but the couple separated seven years ago. Taub explained an incident to the outlet that once happened while they were together in which he disappeared for a year and when he returned was not the same person.

“He came back in very bad shape. He thought he was Jesus. He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him,” Taub said. “And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, half normal.”

His politics, she admitted, seemed to have changed since the last time she knew him, as when they first met, “he had no experience in politics”.

“He was totally on board with my views and I’ve always been very progressive.”

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