A woman who was shot in the chest during violent clashes between President Donald Trump’s supporters and police has died.
The incident happened as tens of thousands of protesters breached barricades and stormed the US Capitol building as lawmakers meet to vote on certifying US President-elect Joe Biden.
Officials say the US Capitol complex is now secure after heavily armed police were sent to the area to try to stop the violent protest.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
Both chambers of Congress abruptly recessed on Wednesday as they were debating the Electoral College vote that gave Joe Biden the presidency.
There was confusion in the House chamber as the Capitol doors were locked and debate was suspended. A representative from the Capitol police spoke from a lectern on the dais and told lawmakers to remain calm, and that more information would be available soon.
An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s victory. Due to an “external security threat”, no one could enter or exit the Capitol complex, the recording said.
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.
A suspicious package was also reported in the area, Capitol Police said.
The skirmishes came 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.
BIDEN CONDEMNS VIOLENCE
US President-elect Joe Biden has condemned the violence and called on President Trump directly to call for the protesters to stop.
Biden said the actions of the protesters “bordered on sedition” and that “it must stop’.
President Trump has since tweeted a video response, telling protesters to “go home, and go home in peace”, while still claiming the election was “stolen”.
At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.