Supporters of President Trump swarmed and entered the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, prompting a lockdown and portions of the grounds to be evacuated.
[banging on door] [yelling] “This way! This way! This way! This way!” “They broke the glass?” “Everybody stay down, get down!” [crowd noise] [shot fired] “Take that House, take it now! Take it now!” [flash bang] [crowd noise] “You ain’t gonna stop us!” [flash bang] [crowd noise]
The violence at the Capitol broke out around 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, as the House and the Senate debated the presidential election results. Within minutes of Trump supporters breaching the Capitol complex, a mob was pounding on the doors of the House gallery, where a group of lawmakers were trapped.
“I thought we’d have to fight our way out,” said Representative Jason Crow, Democrat of Colorado and a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq.
He said he moved the others away from the barricaded door in the gallery, helping them don gas masks and telling them to take off the lapel pins assigned to all House members. He took out his only possible weapon: a pen.
Representative Patrick Fallon, Republican of Texas, wrote on Facebook: “We broke off furniture to make clubs to defend the US House of Representatives.”
Multiple lawmakers reported that the Capitol Police had instructed them to take cover on the House floor and prepare to use gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda.
After 15 minutes, Mr. Crow said, the Capitol Police and SWAT team members cleared a path outside the gallery, above the House floor, and hustled the lawmakers out on a rescue mission.
With the police in the lead, guns drawn, the lawmakers entered a scene of chaos and mayhem, Mr. Crow said. Some officers rushed to barricade other doors to block the mob, which swarmed the hallways just steps from where lawmakers were meeting, wearing and carrying pro-Trump paraphernalia. Other officers pinned some Trump supporters to the ground to allow the lawmakers pass.
“This is insane,” tweeted Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota.