THE U.S. CAPITOL WAS overtaken Wednesday by supporters of President Donald Trump, who, spurred on by his comments and angered by his loss, breached police lines and forced their way into the building, inside lawmakers’ offices and onto the Senate floor in a bid to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
The rioting protesters sat at the desk of the Senate president, hung off balconies and milled about in tear-gas filled hallways. Lawmakers crouched and cowered in the House gallery as the mob attempted to break inside. Trump and Confederate flags flew outside and were waved inside the Capitol.
A woman was shot inside the Capitol and later died, according to reports. It was not immediately clear who the victim was or who shot her.
Trump supporters shattered glass in the halls of the Capitol, looting and destroying offices. Some forced their way into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offices. In the House chamber, law enforcement drew their guns and pointed them at the doors to the chamber as protesters attempted to break inside.
The violent chaos started earlier Wednesday afternoon, when mobs swarmed the Capitol shortly after Congress entered into a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
By about 6 p.m officials said the Capitol building was “secure,” though it was not apparent what exactly that meant. Law enforcement appeared to successfully disperse some of the crowd, but many demonstrators remained well past the 6 p.m. curfew implemented by the District of Columbia, milling about as police stood around and gradually attempted to push them out of the area.
Lawmakers reconvened at 8 p.m., pledging to continue with the certification of votes.