Protests in the nation’s capital on Wednesday turned deadly as four people lost their lives and more than a dozen officers were injured in the chaos following protests and a rally held by President Trump outside of the White House.
One of the four deaths included Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year Air Force veteran from California who was reportedly shot by Capitol police. The other deaths were attributed to medical emergencies.
“One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies, which resulted in their deaths. Any loss of life in the district is tragic and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference Wednesday night.
“You should also be aware that at least 14 MPD officers have sustained injuries during the demonstrations,” the chief said. “One member suffered serious injuries after he was pulled into a crowd and assaulted. He is currently hospitalized and undergoing testing for treatment for this injury.”
Two pipe bombs and at least six firearms were also recovered on the Capitol grounds. More than 50 people were arrested during the protests and subsequent violence and destruction as rioters breached the chambers of the House and Senate in hopes of thwarting President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Former President George W. Bush condemned the violence in a statement, saying “It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic—not our democratic republic,” Bush said. “I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement.”
Bush continued by saying the passions of protesters were “inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said emergency measures in the nation’s capital will remain in place for 15 days until after the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony.