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US Capitol secured, 4 dead after rioters stormed the halls of Congress to block Biden’s win

By Ted BarrettManu Raju and Peter Nickeas, CNN

(CNN)The US Capitol is once again secured but four people are dead —
including one woman who was shot — after supporters of President Donald Trump breached one of the most iconic
American buildings, engulfing the nation’s capital in chaos after Trump urged
his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes
that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.Shortly after 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday 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. Shortly after, the House floor
was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the
chamber, he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.

An armed standoff took place at the House front door as of 3 p.m. ET, and
police officers had their guns drawn at someone who was trying to breach it. A
Trump supporter was also pictured standing at the Senate dais earlier in the
afternoon.A woman, who is yet to be identified, died after being shot in the
chest on the Capitol grounds, DC police confirmed to CNN. More information on
the shooting was not immediately available and a police spokesperson said
additional details will come later. DC Police Chief Robert Contee said three
other people died from medical emergencies during the riot.”One adult
female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical
emergencies, which resulted in their deaths. Any loss of life in the District
is tragic and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss,” Contee
said at a news conference Wednesday night.Multiple officers have been injured
with at least one transported to the hospital, multiple sources tell CNN.Smoke grenades
were used on the Senate side of the Capitol, as police work to clear the
building of rioters. Windows on the west side of the Senate have been broken,
and hundreds of officers are amassing on the first floor of the building.The
Senate floor was cleared of rioters as of 3:30 p.m. ET, and an officer told CNN
that they have successfully squeezed them away from the Senate wing of the
building and towards the Rotunda, and they are removing them out of the East
and West doors of the Capitol. It’s not clear if any of the individuals have
been taken into custody.The US Capitol Police worked to secure the second floor
of the Capitol first, and were seen just before 5 p.m. pushing demonstrators
off the steps on the east side of the building. With about 30 minutes to go
before Washington, DC’s 6 p.m. ET curfew, Washington police amassed in a long
line to push the mob back from the Capitol grounds.It took until roughly 5:40
p.m. ET for the building to once again be secured, according to the
sergeant-at-arms.The stunning display of insurrection was the first time the US
Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in
August of 1814, during the War of 1812, according to Samuel Holliday, director
of scholarship and operations with the US Capitol Historical Society.The
shocking scene was met with less police force than many of the Black Lives
Matter protests that rolled across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s
killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers last year. While federal police
attacked peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square outside the White House over
the summer, clearing the way for Trump to take a photo in front of a nearby
church at the time, protesters on Wednesday were able to overrun Capitol police
and infiltrate the country’s legislative chambers.

 

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