Shots reportedly fired in US Capitol

Shots reportedly fired in US Capitol

By Ashraf Khalil and Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Shots were reportedly fired as lawmakers are being evacuated from the U.S. Capitol while protesters supporting President Donald Trump violently clashed with law enforcement.

The Capitol building has been locked down, halting the vote to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.


ABC News reported that there was an armed standoff at the House front door.

Dozens of people breached security perimeters at the Capitol and lawmakers inside the House chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda.

The Capitol building has been locked down, halting the vote to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

A chaplain prayed as police guarded the doors to the chamber and lawmakers tried to gather information about what was happening.

An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Biden’s victory. Due to an “external security threat,” no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said.

Both chambers abruptly went into recess. The District of Columbia’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser, issued a curfew for 6 p.m.

The skirmishes occurred outside in the very spot where president-elect Biden will be inaugurated in just two weeks.

Protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps and were met by officers in riot gear. Some tried to push past the officers who held shields and officers could be seen firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep them back. Some in the crowd were shouting “traitors” as officers tried to keep them back.

About an hour into the lockdown, Trump tweeted that he’s “asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!”


A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said.

The skirmishes came just shortly after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters, riling up the crowd with his baseless claims of election fraud at a rally near the White House on Wednesday ahead of Congress’ vote.

“We will not let them silence your voices,” Trump told the protesters, who had lined up before sunrise to get a prime position to hear the president.

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