U.S. Capitol Complex Secure after Violent Occupation
WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials have declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump.
An announcement saying “the Capitol is secure” rang out Wednesday evening inside a secure location for officials of the House. Lawmakers applauded.
The occupation interrupted Congress’ Electoral College count that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.
Lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations around the Capitol complex and Washington, D.C. after thousands of Trump supporters breached the building and skirmished with police officers.
Lawmakers have signaled that they would resume the constitutionally mandated count as soon as it was safe to do so.
(This portion of story written by AP)
According to Fox5 reporter Lindsay Watts on Twitter, one person inside of the Capitol was shot.
She was near the House chamber when she was shot and has passed away.
Meanwhile, the National Guard is being called in. Some police officers were injured as well.
The FBI is responding after members of Congressional staff were told to shelter in place as people made their way into the U.S. Capitol. Washington, D.C. has been placed under curfew beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday night and lasting until 6 a.m. Thursday morning.
President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation moments ago and called on President Trump to denounce the violence.
President Donald Trump, who earlier today spoke at the "March to Save America" rally outside the U.S. Capitol before the protests turned violent, took to Twitter to call for "everyone...to remain peaceful."
The "March to Save America" began outside the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers in Congress continued to debate the Electoral College count of the U.S. Presidential Election. Currently, the Capitol is on lockdown. On Twitter, videos of protesters could be seen clashing with Capitol Police, breaching the Capitol building.
Protesters then made their way inside steps away from the Senate Chambers, which is locked. Protesters are inside trying to break down the door to the House chamber. Lawmakers were instructed to get their escape hoods, which was instituted following 9/11, and they have been evacuated. In photos and videos below, you will also see guns drawn by Capitol Police as they are trying to keep the people inside the Capitol protected.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has already congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and has recognized him as the next President of the United States, addressed Republican legislators objecting to the election:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence says he doesn't have the power to discard electoral votes that will make Democrat Joe Biden the next president on Jan. 20. That's what Pence says in a statement issued minutes before he was to begin presiding over a joint session of Congress to count those votes. Pence says it is "my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” In the days before the joint session, Trump has pressured his vice president to toss electors from battleground states that voted for Biden.
(AP sections of story written by JILL COLVIN and ZEKE MILLER/AP)