A pro-Trump protest that was being held while the Senate certified the electoral vote count to make the election of Joe Biden official escalated into a riot Wednesday afternoon as the angry crowd breached multiple layers of police barricades and swarmed into the Capitol.
There are reports of pepper spray and tear gas being used on the crowd. Tear gas was reportedly employed in the Capitol Rotunda. Elected officials and Capitol personnel were advised to use gas hoods while evacuating through tunnels underneath the building.
U.S. Capitol Police sent out emergency calls for help from Metro DC police and from surrounding agencies.
WTOP is reporting that one woman has been shot in the chest and is in critical condition. There is no word on who was shot or by whom. Protesters reportedly claimed the woman was shot by police.
There are reports of officers being assaulted. DC's police chief said in a press conference that two injured officers are still working at the scene.
Officers have started clearing the Capitol.
At least one improvised explosive device was found on the Capitol grounds, several law enforcement officials told NBC News.
The explosive device was found outside a building, the officials said. It has reportedly been neutralized.
The Senate floor was cleared of rioters as of 3:30 p.m. ET, and an officer told CNN that they have successfully squeezed them away from the Senate wing of the building and towards the Rotunda, and they are removing them out of the East and West doors of the Capitol.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. on Thursday.
The Washington Post is reporting that the entire DC National Guard—1,100 Guardsmen—has been activated.
Virginia National Guard and State Police and the Maryland National Guard and State Police are also reportedly being deployed.
The FBI has also been sent to the Capitol, the Washington Times reports. “The FBI has been deployed to assist our U.S Capitol Police partners as requested in protection of federal property and public safety,” the bureau said in a statement.
Shortly after 3:30 p.m., White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Mr. Trump had directed the National Guard to respond to the Capitol “along with other federal protective services.”
The DC National Guard can only be activated by the President.