Disclaimer: Today’s events are still being investigated, so some of the information below may be incomplete.
Both the House and the Senate were in joint session today in the Capitol building to certify the electoral votes under the supervision of Vice President Mike Pence when they were forced to evacuate by a group of protestors following a pro-Trump rally.
Protestors Swarm the Capitol
Outside the White House, thousands of Trump supporters gathered for a morning rally at which Rudy Giuliani and Trump spoke. The protestors, many bearing American and pro-Trump flags, then marched on the Capitol building.
Shortly after 1 p.m. ET, hundreds of protestors pushed through security barriers, metal fences, and police lines around the perimeter of the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the electoral vote certification. Some protesters clashed with police. Flash bangs, pepper spray, and clubs were used, and an unknown source deployed tear gas.
Around 2:30 p.m. ET, protesters breached the Capitol building, where the doors to the House and Senate were locked. Lawmakers in the House were told they may need to duck under their chairs for cover before being evacuated by police. Representatives were equipped with lightweight gas masks as a precaution.
According to CNN, “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.”
Over the next couple of hours, police worked to clear the Capitol of protestors, finally pushing them off Capitol grounds and securing the building around 5:40 p.m. ET.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6:00 p.m. Wednesday until 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 7.
The D.C and Maryland National Guard, Virginia state police, and Maryland state troopers were sent as reinforcements.
Congress has reconvened and resumed the certification of the electoral votes as of 8 p.m. ET.
According to Samuel Holliday, director of scholarship and operations with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, this was “the first time the U.S. Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814, during the War of 1812.”
One Woman Shot at the Capitol
A female protestor, Ashli Babbit, was shot in the chest and transported to a hospital around 3 p.m. ET, where she has reportedly died. An eyewitness described what happened to Daily Caller journalist Phillip Nieto while holding up a bloodied hand. "I was right there with her. It was either me or her! And they shot her."
The man said that the altercation happened at the door of one of the chambers where there was a "smashed window" and "they shot her in the neck."
"The police or service or whatever, they shot her with a gun through the neck, [she] fell back into my hand and onto the floor," the man continued.
It is unknown who fired the shot.
At Least Two Pipe Bombs Found
According to a federal law enforcement official, law enforcement has also responded to three reports of pipe bombs in Washington, D.C. One pipe bomb was found at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters, placed against an exterior wall. Another pipe bomb was discovered in the U.S. Capitol complex. Both were safely detonated by police.
The Democratic National Committee also received a suspicious package which prompted the evacuation of the building.