As debate raged inside the U.S. Capitol over whether to certify the presidential election results and Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building, one Congresswoman reported evacuating her office while hearing “what sounds like multiple gunshots.”
Rep. Elaine Luria wrote on Twitter, “I just had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots.”
A woman was shot, and critically injured, although it’s not clear who shot her.
CNN reported, via sources, that the woman was shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds and is in critical condition. An armed standoff was taking place outside the House front door. There’s no evidence those gunshots are related to those heard by the Congresswoman, though.
Her report came as supporters of President Donald Trump tried to storm the Capitol, fighting with Capitol police, and the Library of Congress and Cannon Office building were evacuated due to reports of multiple suspicious packages.
Police have not confirmed whether there were, in fact, gunshots or whether the suspicious packages were legitimate threats. However, it was getting unruly at the Capitol as Congress, inside, debated whether to certify Arizona’s electoral votes, which received an objection from some in the GOP. It also came hours after President Trump held a fiery rally in which he declared the election was a fraud and that he was its real victor, and it came as Democrats appeared poised to take over the U.S. Senate as the result of two Georgia runoff elections.
Here’s what you need to know:
There Were Reports That Multiple Capitol Police Officers Were Injured
Videos and photos captured the melee outside the Capitol building as Trump supporters fought with Capitol police and multiple appeared to have suffered injuries.
Rep. Nancy Mace wrote on Twitter, “Just evacuated my office in Cannon due to a nearby threat. Now we’re seeing protesters assaulting Capitol Police. This is wrong. This is not who we are. I’m heartbroken for our nation today.”
She shared this video:
In Georgia, “Militia members have gathered outside the Georgia Capitol. Brad Raffensperger and senior staff have been escorted out to safety,” reported
Congress Halted Debate Over the Electoral College as Protesters Breached the Building & Vice President Mike Pence Was Ushered Out
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, was debating Arizona’s electoral votes, when the debate was stopped. People began to rush out of the room.
Igor Bobic, a reporter with the Huffington Post, wrote that protesters had made it inside the Capitol building and were being blocked outside the Senate chamber. “Police officers are holding them steps away from the Senate chamber, which is locked. Senators are inside. I see a few confederate flags,” he wrote.
Vice President Mike Pence was ushered out, as the U.S. Capitol went into a lockdown due to the security threats, according to CNBC. Pence has been the focus of the ire of Donald Trump and some of his supporters because he previously indicated to Congress that he did not have authority to overturn the election results.
CNBC reported that the Madison Building was also evacuated. People were allowed to return to the Cannon building, though.
Jazmine Ulloa, a reporter for the Boston Globe, wrote on Twitter, “Capitol is on lockdown as protesters storm front entrance of the Capitol. They are banging on the door. They have broken the glass window.”