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4 dead, 52 arrested, bombs, guns found after storming of US Capitol

Trump supporters rally outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Nov. 14, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
January 07, 2021

Four people died and 52 were arrested following demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday during “Stop the Steal” protests of the election results. Police also recovered two pipe bombs and multiple firearms.

Those killed during the incident at the Capitol included a woman who was fatally shot, who has since been identified, and three more individuals who died during what police describe as “medical emergencies.”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a press briefing providing information about the incident at the Capitol.

During the briefing, Acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee said police made more than 52 arrests, including four arrests of people carrying pistols without licenses, one arrest for possession of a prohibited weapon, and 47 arrests for curfew violations and unlawful entry. 26 of the arrests were made on U.S. Capitol grounds while the rest came during subsequent police curfews in the city.

Contee said police recovered two pipe bombs, one outside the Democratic National Committee office and the other outside the Republican National Committee office. Contee said police also found a long-gun and a Molotov cocktail incendiary device in a cooler inside a vehicle parked on Capitol grounds.

During the incident at the Capitol, Contee said plainclothes Capitol police officers confronted protesters entering the building and “one Capitol police officer discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female.”

The woman who was shot was later identified as Ashli Babbit, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. After the shooting, she was transported to a local hospital, where life-saving efforts were unsuccessful and she died.

Contee said the MPD has authority to investigate all officer-involved shootings in D.C., including those of other police agencies, and is currently investigating the circumstances in which the woman was shot.

Contee said another adult female and two adult males suffered from separate medical emergencies, resulting in their deaths.

At least 14 MPD officers were also injured during various incidents Wednesday, including one officer who suffered serious injuries after he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted.

The incidents at the Capitol come after President Donald Trump called on supporters to come to D.C. in support of disputes to the 2020 U.S. presidential election results. At least a dozen Senate Republicans and over 100 House Republicans planned to object to the vote certifications and raise calls for an electoral commission to investigate potential fraud, irregularities and violations of law in the 2020 election.

As demonstrators pushed through police barriers at the Capitol and entered the building, lawmakers delayed plans to certify the vote tallies and evacuated or sheltered in their chambers Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence, who was to preside over the vote certification process, was also evacuated.

Congress eventually returned to certify the electoral votes late into Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Lawmakers debated objections to certifying the votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania, but some of the lawmakers who had originally planned to object to the certifications later decided to drop their objections after the incidents earlier in the day.