Hundreds of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday as Congress met to certify electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden. The chaotic scene unfolded on a day when thousands of President Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington to protest the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump continues to falsely assert, without evidence, that the presidential election was stolen from him. He encouraged his supporters to attend rallies contesting the election results and spoke on Wednesday moments before rioters breached the Capitol. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved,” he said shortly before the mob began moving toward the barricades.
STORMING THE CAPITOL
The mob began toppling barricades in front of the Capitol and pushed past Capitol Police officers.
Once past the barricades and police, the rioters ran up the Capitol’s steps, banged on doors, and attempted to break in through windows to enter the building.
INSIDE THE CAPITOL
Once they reached the Capitol, rioters started breaking windows to enter and in another instance pushed their way into the building, yelling “move, move” as a bottleneck formed.
Inside the Capitol, rioters ran through the halls, tried to push through doors and fought with police. Shortly after 2 p.m., Capitol Police ordered all staff, reporters and nearby senators into the Senate chamber, which was sealed off and put on lock down.
Members of Congress posted videos and photos saying they would be receiving gas masks to protect them from tear gas as the discord escalated. Inside the House chamber, security officers drew weapons after rioters broke the windows on the chamber’s door. People inside rushed for cover as reports emerged that shots were fired.
Photos show one of the men who stormed the Capitol sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office with his feet on the desk and the words “WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN” written on a folder.
Amid the escalating violence, one woman was shot. Shortly before 3 p.m. an ambulance arrived at the southeast corner of the Capitol. Police later announced the woman had died.
A witness described the shooting incident to WUSA-9, saying: “We had stormed into the chambers inside. And there was a young lady who rushed through the windows. A number of police and Secret Service were saying get back, get down, get out of the way. She didn’t heed the call and as we kind of raced up to grab people and pull them back, they shot her in the neck.”