Congressional lawmakers were removed from the Capitol as barricades went up in the House chamber and protests erupted into violence during the certification of Electoral College votes Wednesday.
Protesters reportedly smashed glass doors and authorities drew their weapons at one door. The certification was stopped after Congress recessed as the chaos escalated outside and inside the Capitol building.
A congressional source told Fox News that the Cannon House Office Building and Madison Library of Congress Building were briefly evacuated after several suspicious packages were reportedly found in the area.
Vice President Mike Pence was ushered out of the chamber.
U.S. Capitol Police are asking personnel to relocate from Cannon and to “shelter in place” at the Rayburn and Longworth House Office Buildings. A police memo sent to lawmakers read: “Due to police activity, all personnel are advised to relocate from the Cannon House Office Building to the Rayburn and Longworth House Office Buildings through the underground tunnels. Do not evacuate outside the buildings. All personnel should shelter in place in the Rayburn and Longworth House Office buildings.”
A journalist with Fox 5 DC who was inside the Canon office building at the time said an officer stood in the center of the rotunda and shouted for people to “clear the building.”
The U.S. Capitol complex has been placed on lockdown. An announcement played that said in the U.S. Capitol said to “move away from windows and doors” and “no one can leave or enter.” People were still permitted to move about inside the building.
Another announcement that sounded inside the Senate press room said: “Lock all doors if able. If unable, seek shelter or concealment. Remain calm and await further directions. I repeat… security threats, security threats, security threats inside the U.S. Capitol.”
Multiple suspicious packages have been found near the Capitol grounds, according to multiple law enforcement officials. At least one of these devices looked like a pipe bomb, according to an official who saw the device.
It is unclear if these are actually explosive devices, or if they might be a hoax. The D.C. bomb unit has been contacted. A command center has been set up near 100 block of E Street SE.
Meanwhile, some demonstrators got too close to the Capitol on the west side, which came close to having a breach in the fencing set up to hold crowds back. U.S. Capitol Police is trying to push people back. The entire Capitol plaza is closed, even to members attempting to go into the chamber for the joint session of Congress.
Video shared online showed a crowd, some of whom carried pro-Trump and American flags, clash with federal law enforcement officers wearing helmets and shields.
Washington D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew amid the continuing violence that will run from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, John Roberts, Jake Gibson, Jacqui Heinrich and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.