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The US Capitol is once again secured but four people are dead -- including one woman who was shot -- after supporters of President Donald Trump breached one of the most iconic American buildings, engulfing the nation's capital in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden's win.
Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Wednesday hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers "traitors" for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from the chamber, he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.
The woman fatally shot inside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday has been identified as Ashli Babbitt, a friend confirms to Fox News. Babbitt was a 14-year veteran who served four tours with the Air Force and resided in San Diego, according to media reports.
Babbitt was a strong supporter of President Trump, her husband told WTTG-TV. Messages to him from Fox News were not returned.
"I really don’t know why she decided to do this," Babbitt's mother-in-law told the local Fox affiliate in D.C.
Babbitt's husband was not in D.C with her. The couple owned a business together, according to reports.
Authorities were in riot gear protecting the Capitol as the media and lawmakers returned to resume a joint session of Congress halted hours earlier when a mob breached security and stormed the building, resulting in the fatal shooting.
On Wednesday afternoon, as a mob of his supporters surrounded the US Capitol — and as the Capitol Police struggled to clear some of the insurrectionists from inside the Capitol itself — President Donald Trump tweeted out a video that was ostensibly a call for his supporters to “go home,” but actually doubled down on his lies that the election was stolen.
Trump began the brief, one-minute video by expressing solidarity with the mob and repeating widely debunked lies about the election that he lost in November — lies that fueled the insurrection in the first place.
“I know your pain. I know you’re hurt,” Trump began. He then falsely claimed, “We had an election that was stolen from us.” Only after lying about the election result and falsely suggesting that he won in a “landslide” did Trump tell his supporters, “You have to go home now.”
He also told the rioters, “We love you, you’re very special.”
Less than two hours after Trump’s video went up, Facebook announced that it was removing Trump’s video because “we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.” Although Vox originally included the video in this article, we have removed it as well.
The U.S. Capitol has descended into chaos as Trump supporters at the March to Save America clashed with police.
Several crowds stormed barricades outside Congress, where lawmakers are convening to vote on the certification of the Electoral College of the 2020 presidential election. The Library of Congress has been evacuated amid violent clashes.