Four people died, including one woman who was shot by a police officer, amid protests and rioting on Capitol Hill that resulted in dozens of demonstrators being arrested, police announced.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called the rioting by pro-Trump demonstrators “shameful” during a news conference alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser (D).
Demonstrators stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing both chambers to evacuate as they prepared to certify President-elect Joe Biden‘s Electoral College win.
The situation escalated quickly, with officers scrambling to prevent swarms of people from entering the Capitol building before eventually being overrun by scores of people entering the complex.
One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the rioting. Police said three other people — a woman and two men — died after apparently suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds.
Authorities have not released additional information on the woman who was shot by the Capitol Police officer. The woman was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead, Contee said.
Contee said at least 14 officers sustained injuries during the rioting, with one officer “pulled into the crowd and assaulted,” resulting in “serious injuries” that required hospitalization. Another officer was also hospitalized.
Police also recovered two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee.
Members of the D.C. National Guard had been called in earlier Wednesday as authorities attempted to gain control of the situation and secure the Capitol building.
Officers from D.C. police and Capitol Police successfully cleared the Capitol grounds so Congress could resume its count of the electoral results, which resumed around 8 p.m.
In response to the civil unrest on Capitol Hill, Bowser issued a curfew for the District beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. She also extended an emergency declaration in the city until Jan. 21, allowing the city to access additional resources to quell any further civil disturbances.
As of 9:30 p.m., police had made 52 arrests, including four for carrying pistols without a license and one for possession of a prohibited weapon. Twenty six of the 52 arrests were made on Capitol grounds, Conte said.
Police began “securing the perimeter around the Capitol Building” around 7:15 p.m., Conte said, issuing verbal warnings to many of the hundreds that remained in the area after the curfew had gone into effect.
Conte reminded the public, “if you are not engaged in essential activities, please stay off the streets.”