The riot has been noted to be a direct result of President Trump refusing to concede defeat and urging his followers to demonstrate their "strength."
Editor's note: This is a developing story and some of the facts mentioned may be updated based on the latest developments.
On Wednesday, January 6, the U.S Capitol building was attacked by rioters which resulted in evacuations, injuries, and arrests. Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump gathered at the iconic structure after Trump asked his supporters to fight against the counting of electoral votes.
According to USA Today, the mob went past the barriers of the Capitol, smashed windows, and climbed up the building's balconies. CNN reported that according to the police, the rioters got inside the building, forcing the building doors to the House and Senate to be locked. Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the chamber where he was supposed to count electoral votes. Members of Congress were tweeting from within the building about having to seek refuge in their offices as Trump supporters breached the premises past building security.
Trump supporters are trying to break past police lines at the Capitol building.pic.twitter.com/kzLo2vWyfq— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) January 6, 2021
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, all of it began when President Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and demonstrate their "strength" as he continued to refuse to concede defeat in the general election. He said, "We're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," Trump said. Tump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, asked the president's supporters to settle the election dispute through "trial by combat."
The House members were asked to wear gas masks, as tear gas was eventually being fired in the Capitol Rotunda. Some of the pictures shared by the publication showed people fighting with the police, smashing windows, and the security officials standing with their guns out, pointing to the floor of the House of Representatives. The people were seen carrying Trump banners, American flags, and even Confederate flags. Meanwhile, President Trump
The chaotic riot resulted in the death of four people. NBC News reported that a woman lost her life during the riots after she was shot at the Capitol, as revealed by the Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee. Another woman and two men succumbed to medical emergencies around the Capitol premises. The cause of death of the other three adults is yet to be determined by the Office of the Medical Examiner.
Multiple pipe bombs were detonated that were found in different locations in Washington, DC, as per the information provided by the federal law enforcement official. The Republican National Committee official told CNN that a pipe bomb was found along the wall on the ground outside their headquarters. However, it was safely detonated by the police. Soon the Capitol was secured and lawmakers began returning to the building.
Former DC police chief Charles Ramsey noted that the breach by Pro-Trump protesters was "as close to a coup attempt as this country has ever seen." He even had strong words for Trump. "I mean, the guy is — he's like a cancer, you know. He stirred them up and got the whole thing going. This is as close to a coup attempt as this country has ever seen," said Ramsey, before adding, "That's what you're looking at, folks, that's what you're looking at and it's absolutely ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, and a lot of people are responsible for this."
In a letter to House members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi dubbed the riots "shameful" and added that after consulting with House Democratic leaders, the Justice Department and Pence they decided to proceed with the electoral counting "tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use."