A woman has been shot inside United States Capitol after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building and violently clashed with police in a bid to stop Joe Biden from being certified as the next president of the country.
The woman is said to be in a critical condition as she was shot in the chest with at least 5 injured persons transported to the hospital, NBC News reports.
It was not immediately clear who shot the woman. Police could be seen treating her on the floor of the iconic building.
One of those transported was a law enforcement officer. Several officers have been treated for pepper spray exposure.
Violence broke out after dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon with lawmakers inside the House Chamber urged to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd.
Protesters were heard banging on the doors of the House chamber and yelling outside as police officers rushed lawmakers out of the chamber and to safety.
Vice President Mike Pence, presiding in the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presiding in the House, were quickly whisked away from their respective chambers at the first hint of the breach for their own safety.
The protesters filled the building, filled with paintings depicting important scenes in the founding of the nation.
They also were seen marching through Statuary Hall, a room off the House chamber that is filled with statues of the nation’s founders and used for special ceremonies.
Trump urged his supporters to stay peaceful, in a tweet that came after they had breached the building. At a rally earlier that morning, he had encouraged them to march on the Capitol, where lawmakers were to certify the electoral college vote for Joe Biden.
President Trump said; “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful”, but he did not tell them to leave.
Capitol Police used tear gas as hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.
US National Guard has since been deployed to the scene of protest following request for assistance by Capitol Police.