US Capitol locked down as Trump supporters clash with police

Written by on January 6, 2021

US Capitol locked down as Trump supporters clash with police

By Elena Moore / NPR

January 6, 2021

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET

U.S. Capitol Police say they have locked down all buildings within the U.S. Capitol complex as violent supporters of President Trump have breached the Capitol building and continue to clash with police.

Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Police have alerted individuals to shelter in place, citing a “security threat inside the building.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican ally of Trump’s, confirmed on Fox News Wednesday afternoon that he heard on a Capitol Police radio that there were “shots fired” in the building.

“People are hurt,” he said.

With the Washington Monument in the background, people attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump near the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

At least one woman could be seen during live cable coverage being rolled out on a stretcher from the Capitol Building, visibly bleeding.

Trump tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Staff have been urged to move inside offices, hide and lock external doors and windows.

Police were seen with guns drawn in the House chamber, pointing their firearms at windows that were smashed.

Members were told that tear gas was being used in the Capitol rotunda and members should get ready to put on masks on.

Previously, police placed the entire Capitol complex on lockdown and both the U.S. Senate and House then went into recess.

“Due to an external security threat located on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building, no entry or exit is permitted at this time,” the police said in a statement. “You may move throughout the building(s) but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek cover.”

Capitol Police also issued safety guidance to staff in multiple federal buildings.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Alerts citing police activity were sent to individuals in the Cannon House Office Building and the Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building.

Individuals in Cannon were originally told to evacuate as well but were later instructed to stay in the building, according to recent email updates from Capitol Police. The evacuation notice has since been cleared.

Staff inside the Library of Congress were also told to exit the building and remain calm, according to reporting from Politico.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Staff inside the Library of Congress were also told to exit the building and remain calm, according to reporting from Politico.

This comes as thousands of pro-Trump and far-right protesters have congregated in downtown D.C. to contest the results of the presidential election.

Groups of protests have broken down barriers originally placed near the Capitol building and are now engaged in altercations with police. Lawmakers have begun acknowledging the escalating violence.

Congress has begun the process of officially recognizing the results of the presidential election. The process has been delayed for several hours after multiple Republican members challenged the results in Arizona, a move they are expected to do with several states.

In an address to protesters midday on Wednesday, President Trump repeatedly denied the results of the election, claiming without evidence that it was rigged against his campaign.

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