Woman dies after shooting in U.S. Capitol; D.C. National Guard activated after mob breaches building

Photo Courtesy: The Washington Post

(The Washington Post): A day that began with thousands of President Trump’s supporters in Washington for demonstrations turned violent as many in attendance saw Wednesday as a last stand for Trump because Congress was set to confirm that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.

Trump — who lost the popular and electoral college vote — continues to dispute the election results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend the rallies. He took the stage about noon to roaring crowds, falsely claiming he had won the election.

Later at the U.S. Capitol, throngs of people pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated counting electoral college votes confirming Biden’s victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, where one person was shot and later died.

D.C. police make curfew arrests as unrest at Capitol quiets

About 30 people had been arrested by D.C. police for curfew violations by 9:30 p.m., the office of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said. Officials cautioned a more precise number will be made available on Thursday, and additional arrests are possible.

These curfew arrests are in addition to the 13 people arrested since Tuesday afternoon on other charges that include firearm offenses, assault and crossing police lines.

D.C. police arrested about a dozen Trump supporters for curfew violation on New York Avenue NW, near 15th Street about two blocks from the White House, just before 8 p.m.

As the night continued, downtown streets emptied, except for a handful of Trump supporters smoking outside hotels or walking in small groups. A few cars passed through, some with out-of-area plates seeking an exit from the city. D.C. police occasionally used loud speakers in their cruisers to warn walkers they were violating curfew.

Outside the Marriott hotel on 14th Street NW around 9:15 p.m., a small group of people were arguing loudly with about 10 MPD officers standing opposite them on the sidewalk. One woman yelled, “This is tyranny.” The small crowd refused to go inside, and more people joined them from inside the hotel, chanting, “Shame on you,” “1776!” and “whose streets? Our streets.” One person waved a large Trump flag.

Dozens more officers assembled in a line in the middle of the road to face them. By about 15 mins later, shouts from the crowd to police grew louder and louder.

By 8:45, law enforcement officers around the Capitol seemed to sense that the immediate threat of violence had dissipated. On the East side, the lines of officers that stood behind the metal barriers before Congress reconvened had dispersed.

More than two dozen officers seemed to head for home, saying good night and making jokes about how badly they needed the bathroom. The Capitol lawn remained littered with signs declaring support for Trump.

After 9 p.m., National guardsmen unbuckled their helmets and set down their shields. The dozen or so Trump supporters still lingering at the reflecting pool settled onto folding chairs and mounds of grass. A woman with a megaphone continued to berate the police. “We have rights,” she said. “We have the right to be here and exercise our First Amendment rights.”