A woman has been shot dead and police have drawn their guns inside the House of Representatives chamber as Donald Trump supporters storm the US Capitol.
Chaotic scenes unfolded in Washington DC as Congress moved to certify the Electoral College votes from the US election.
Police have confirmed to NBC the woman has died. The news was also reported by CNN.
In a statement to CNN, Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Dustin Sternbeck said the woman was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The woman was reportedly shot in the chest. She was seen being wheeled away on a stretcher, covered in blood, in footage aired by MSNBC.
She has yet to be identified and it is not clear who shot her.
One police officer has been taken to hospital after being pepper-sprayed and many others have been treated, including one person for cardiac arrest and another who injured themselves when falling from the scaffolding on the Capitol, CNN reported.
Police barricade House Chamber doors
Images from inside the House Chamber show Capitol police officers drawing their guns at a door which appears to have been vandalised during the coup.
In a tweet, The Philadelphia Inquirer writer Jonathan Tamari said “they are smashing the doors to the house chamber”. Police have guns drawn and aimed at the door,” he said in another tweet.
Inside the House Chamber, Democrat Representative Dean Phillips yelled at the Republicans, The Inquirer reported.
“This is because of you,” he yelled at GOP Representatives, presumably before they were evacuated.
Members of Congress inside the House Chamber were told by police to put on gas masks after tear gas was dispersed in the Capitol Rotunda amid skirmishes by Trump supporters.
The mob overturned barricades and clashed with police as thousands descended on the Capitol grounds.
Police declared the Capitol building secure shortly after 5.30pm, more than three hours after it was breached.
Capitol evacuated after Trump supporters storm building
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate were evacuated by police on Wednesday (local time) as the pro-Trump supporters marched through the halls of Congress.
Video showed Trump supporters breaking windows and police deploying tear gas inside the building.
Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said members of the crowd used chemical irritants to attack police and several had been injured.
The FBI said it had disarmed two suspected explosive devices.
It was the most damaging attack on the iconic building since the British army burned it in 1814, according to the US Capitol Historical Society.
One person occupied the Senate dais and yelled: “Trump won that election.”
Trump did not win the election and he is due to leave office on January 20.
Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the November 3 contest, which Biden won by more than 7 million votes in the national popular vote.
Before chaos ensued at the Capitol, Trump appeared before his supporters and once again regurgitated false claims the election was stolen from him due to widespread election fraud and irregularities.
A citywide curfew has been ordered by Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser.
“The behaviour that we are witnessing is shameful and unpatriotic and above all, it is unlawful,” she told reporters.
Biden demands Trump ‘end this now’
President-elect Joe Biden has made a bold call to outgoing leader Trump as he describes a group of protesters storming the US Capitol as “insurrection”.
“It’s chaos,” the President-elect said in a sombre speech at a press conference addressing the incident.
“It must end now,” he said.
“I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
He then appealed to Trump to go on national television in an attempt to stop the revolt.
Biden said he was genuinely shocked and saddened that the nation could come to such a dark moment.
“The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At the best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” he said.
Trump sends mixed message in Twitter video
As Biden addressed the nation, Trump posted a video on Twitter urging people to go home in peace while continuing to claim the election was “stolen”.
“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” he said.
“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.”
He added it was a “fraudulent election”, but said there had to be peace and said people should “go home”.
Instead of condemning the domestic terrorists who stormed the government building, Trump referred to them as “very special”.
People are now retweeting old posts the president made on social media during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
For those protesting against police brutality and for racial justice, he threatened to prosecute “anarchists, agitators or protestors” who vandalised federal buildings.
But to his supporters who vandalised a federal building, he said: “We love you. You’re very special.”
Twitter has now suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours in response to the violent situation in Washington and his tweets being in violation of the platform’s policy.
“As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” Twitter Safety tweeted.
“This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”
with Associated Press and Reuters
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