Four people died after President Donald Trump’s supporters invaded Capitol Hill, the seat of US Congress.
One of the deceased is a female Trump supporter who was shot by a police officer amid protests and rioting, reports say.
Dozens of demonstrators were later arrested, police announced.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee called the rioting by pro-Trump demonstrators “shameful” during a news conference alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat.
Demonstrators stormed the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, forcing both chambers (the Senate and the House) to evacuate as they prepared to certify Joe Biden as president-elect.
The situation escalated quickly, with officers scrambling to prevent swarms of people from entering the Capitol building before eventually being overrun by scores of people entering the complex, The Hill reported.
One woman was shot and killed by Capitol Police during the rioting. Police said three other people — a woman and two men — died after apparently suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds.
Authorities have not released additional information on the woman who was shot by the Capitol Police officer. The woman was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead, Contee said.
Contee said at least 14 officers sustained injuries during the rioting, with one officer “pulled into the crowd and assaulted,” resulting in “serious injuries” that required hospitalization. Another officer was also hospitalized.
Police also recovered two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee.
Officers from DC police and Capitol Police successfully cleared the Capitol grounds so Congress could resume its count of the electoral results, which resumed around 8 pm, local time.
Members of the DC National Guard had been called in earlier Wednesday as authorities attempted to gain control of the situation and secure the Capitol building.
In response to the civil unrest on Capitol Hill, Bowser issued a curfew for the District beginning at 6 pm on Wednesday. She also extended an emergency declaration in the city until January 21, allowing the city to access additional resources to quell any further civil disturbances.
Police began “securing the perimeter around the Capitol Building” around 7:15 pm, Contee said, issuing verbal warnings to many of the hundreds that remained in the area after the curfew had gone into effect.
As of 9:30 pm, police had made 52 arrests, including four for carrying pistols without a license and one for possession of a prohibited weapon. Twenty six of the 52 arrests were made on Capitol grounds, Conte said.
Contee reminded the public, “if you are not engaged in essential activities, please stay off the streets.”