Woman reportedly in critical condition after shots are fired at U.S. Capitol
A woman has been shot inside the U.S. Capitol after a crowd of rioters breached the building's entry on Wednesday. The woman was in critical condition after being shot in the chest, according to CNN. Pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the building in the afternoon, following an angry speech delivered by the president ahead of the Electoral College vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.
Hours after Trump told the crowd he would "never concede," rioters moved from outside the Capitol building up its steps, eventually breaching the doors and turning violent inside.
The electoral vote was immediately called to a halt as the mob entered the building.
The ongoing situation forced the evacuation of lawmakers as well as Vice President Mike Pence.
The situation quickly turned violent with reporters including Huffington Post's Matt Fuller tweeting that gunshots could be heard outside the chamber.
Axios reporter Alayna Treene wrote that she and "several other reporters" were locked inside the Senate chamber with lawmakers after Pence was evacuated from the building. She added that at 2:29 p.m., she could hear Capitol Police yelling that shots had been fired.
"At 2:29pm police on Senate floor shouted: "SHOTS FIRED. MOVE AWAY FROM THE DOORS" At 2:31pm everyone was evacuated," Treene wrote.
In a phone interview with Fox News reporter Bill Hemmer, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy said he overheard, on a Capitol Police radio, that shots had been fired inside the Capitol at around 3 p.m. EST.
"People are being hurt. There have been shots that have been fired. This is unacceptable," McCarthy told Hemmer.
In a separate event, the New York Times reported that an explosive device had been safely detonated after being discovered at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The outlet reported that the Democratic National Committee was evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package.
The U.S. Army has activated the National Guard in response to the riots, deploying more than 1,000 troops to points around Washington D.C., including the Capitol.
Shortly after 1 p.m. hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers "traitors" for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked.
Video from inside the Capitol showed Trump supporters marching through Statuary Hall. The US Capitol Police is asking for additional law enforcement for assistance, including federal authorities, per a source familiar.
The source says there are several suspicious devices outside the Capitol building.
The protesters have breached exterior security barriers, and video footage shows protesters gathering and some clashing with police near the Capitol building. CNN's team on the ground saw a number of protestors trying to go up the side of the Capitol building. Several loud flash bangs have been heard.
Protesters could be seen pushing against metal fences and police using the fences to push protesters back, while other officers reached over the top to club people trying to cross their lines.
Flash bangs could be heard near the steps of the Capitol as smoke filled the air. In some instances officers could be seen deploying pepper spray. Tear gas has been deployed, but it's not clear whether by protesters or police, and people wiped tears from their eyes while coughing.
Trump supporters chanted "USA" and waved American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags toward the front of the crowd after things had calmed some.
The US Capitol Police is asking for additional law enforcement for assistance, including federal authorities, per a source familiar.
The source said there are several suspicious devices outside the Capitol Building.
A separate law enforcement source says the DC Metropolitan Police Department has sent more resources to assist the Capitol Police, including CDU platoons or Civil Disturbance Units.
The US Capitol has been breached during a tense situation with demonstrators, according to Capitol police officers.
The House doors have been locked and an emergency alert from the Capitol police just transmitted the same thing:
"Due to an INTERNAL threat in the building, take shelter in the nearest office and stay quiet."
Capitol Hill police are also blocking anyone from moving from Senate office buildings into the US Capitol building. There are underground tunnels that link the office buildings with the Capitol building that senators, staff, and journalists use to travel back and forth.
Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy is urging demonstrators outside of the US Capitol to "remain peaceful."
The US Capitol is currently on lockdown, according to Capitol police officers. Congress is in session right now to count and certify the Electoral College votes for president and vice president.
Trump tells supporters to be 'peaceful' after protesters storm Capitol
President Trump urged his supporters to “stay peaceful” while throngs of pro-Trump demonstrators flooded to the U.S. Capitol and breached the complex on Wednesday afternoon.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Trump tweeted.
His message came after several lawmakers spoke out about the threats to the Capitol. U.S. Capitol Police locked down the building earlier Wednesday as demonstrators surrounded House and Senate office buildings.
House and Senate lawmakers met in a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes showing President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Protesters forced their way into the Capitol Wednesday afternoon. Vice President Pence, who was presiding over the Senate chamber, was removed after protesters entered the building.
Protesters headed to Washington in order to contest the election results and support Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss.
Trump spoke to supporters earlier on the National Mall, repeating falsehoods about the election and encouraging them to head towards the Capitol. He also put pressure on Republicans to support his efforts to overturn the results.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), who called up the National Guard in advance of the protests, announced Wednesday that she would impose a 6 p.m. curfew.
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