WASHINGTON – A large group of supporters for President Trump rioted at U.S. Capitol buildings in Washington D.C. as lawmakers met to certify an election win for Joe Biden.
Rioters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back. Groups have also gathered in Lansing.
At about 2:15 p.m., the U.S. Capitol was placed on lockdown as groups breached the Capitol steps. Vice President Mike Pence was removed from the U.S. Senate chamber. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also removed from the House floor. The Senate has recessed and has been evacuated.
6 p.m. update: Officials declare Capitol ‘secure’ nearly 4 hours after violent pro-Trump occupiers disrupted electoral count.
In a raucous, out-of-control scene, protesters fought past police and breached the building, shouting and waving Trump and American flags as they marched through the halls.
DC Police just reported that 4 people died as Trump supporters occupied Capitol; 1 woman shot by police, 3 in medical emergencies. More than 50 arrests have been reported.
D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.
The protesters abruptly interrupted the congressional proceedings in an eerie scene that featured official warnings directing people to duck under their seats for cover and put on gas masks after tear gas was used in the Capitol Rotunda.
Congress resumed the sessions at 8 p.m.
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At 3:40 p.m., the White House said the National Guard has been ordered to the Capitol.
President-elect Biden delivered a live statement, saying: “At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,” Biden said, adding that what unfolded was, “an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.”
“I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward,” Biden said. “At their best the words of a president can inspire, at their worst they can incite.”
Trump posted a video asking rioters to go home, while again falsely claiming he won the election. Earlier in the day, Trump openly urged supporters to storm the Capitol.
The police chief of Washington, D.C., says pro-Trump rioters deployed “chemical irritants” on police in order to break into the U.S. Capitol.
Police Chief Robert Contee says officials have declared the scene a riot. One civilian was shot inside the Capitol on Wednesday. Thirteen arrests were made of people from out of the area.
Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens said on Twitter that she was sheltering in place in her office.