On Wednesday afternoon, a mob of pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol, resulting in chambers being vandalized and at least one death. The attack came in the middle of an ongoing vote to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, and it sent both lawmakers and members of the press scrambling for safety. Some found discreet paths out of the building, while others took shelter in the tunnels beneath the Capitol. But some photojournalists wandered the halls of the Capitol alongside the intruders, capturing stunning images of the mob at work. With police struggling to bring the nation’s capital under control, those images gave us a first-hand look at the chaos and disgrace of today’s events.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump gather outside the US Capitol. Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images The crowd breaches the door, waving Gadsden flags and pro-Trump banners. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images Demonstrators breached security, flooding into restricted zones of the Capitol. Photo by Roberto Schmidt / AFP via Getty Images An intruder waves a Trump flag on a flight of stairs near the Senate floor. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images Lawmakers were directed to shelter in place as the crowd attempted to breach the chamber. Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) wearing an evacuation hood, meant to protect against tear gas deployed elsewhere in the building Photo by Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images US Capitol Police officers draw their guns as an intruder attempts to break through a barricaded door to the House Chamber. Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) comforts Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) while taking cover. Photo by Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) are directed toward exits by Capitol Police. Photo by Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Protesters enter the Senate Chamber. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images A protester screams “Freedom” inside the Senate Chamber after the US Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images An intruder hangs from the Senate balcony, attempting to drop to the lower level. Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images A Trump supporter sits in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was forced to evacuate. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images A note left on Speaker Pelosi’s desk. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images Trump supporters roam under the Capitol rotunda, where tear gas was later deployed. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images Trump supporters pose with a bronze statue of former President Ronald Reagan. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images Protesters enter the US Capitol as tear gas fills the corridor. Photo by Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images US Capitol Police detain members of the mob outside the House Chamber. Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images