Updated: Pro-Trump protesters breach the US Capitol


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — (Please scroll down for the latest updates)  Supporters of President Donald Trump who rallied outside the U.S. Capitol clashed with police officers and breached the building Wednesday, forcing a lockdown with members of Congress inside.

The clashes began as Trump and his allies held a rally pushing the Senate to refuse to certify the election for President-elect Joe Biden.

“If you are in a public space, find a place to hide or seek cover,” U.S. Capitol Police told people inside the building.

The protesters pushed ahead of barricades and a wall of police officers in riot gear to get into the building. Inside, the Trump supporters, many of whom appeared without face coverings, waved “Trump 2020” flags, shouted chants and moved freely.

President Trump, who was at the White House, tweeted at 2:39 p.m., “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

Fifteen minutes earlier, he had tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” and “USA demands the truth!”

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., tweeted, “Police have asked us to get gas masks out as there has been tear gas used in the rotunda.”

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew beginning at 6 p.m. and ending Thursday at 6 a.m.

“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District,” the mayor’s office said.

3:41 p.m. ET update

Sources tell ABC News an unidentified woman has been shot in the neck inside the U.S. Capitol by persons unknown and was reported to be in critical condition, and was being treated at the hospital.  It’s unclear what led to the shooting or if law enforcement was involved. 

Law enforcement has also succeeded in clearing protestors from the Senate chamber and at last word was pushing them from upper floors of the Capitol building to the lower floors.

3:57 p.m. ET update

ABC News has learned that the entire Washington, D.C. National Guard has been activated to address the U.S. Capitol breach and the protests there.

4:27 p.m. ET update

President-elect Joe Biden, in a brief address, declared in part, “This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”  Biden also urged President Trump to “go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

A few minutes later, President Trump tweeted a one-minute video in which he declared: “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt.  We had an election that was stolen from us.  It was a landslide election.  And everyone knows it, especially the other side.  But you have to go home now.  We have to have peace.  We have to have law and order.  We have to respect our great people in law and order.  We don’t want anybody hurt.  It’s a very tough period of time.  There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us.  From me, from you, from our country.  This was a fraudulent election.  But we can’t play into the hands of these people.  We have to have peace.  So go home.  We love you.  You’ve very special.  You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.  I know how you feel.  But go home and go home in peace.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.