'Unfathomable': Area congressional reps react to 'terror' at US Capitol

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was one of a dozen federal lawmakers in the gallery above the House floor when supporters of President Trump stormed the building and everyone had to get on the ground, she said on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. 

"We pulled out gas masks ... Capitol police barricaded the doors and had guns drawn," said Jayapal, a Seattle Democrat.

Jayapal joined a chorus of Washington politicians from both parties who marked themselves safe Wednesday amid chaos at the U.S. Capitol and disavowed the violence unfolding at the People's House. 

"I can't contain my rage at Donald Trump and Republicans who invited, incited, and fueled this terror. Our country and our democracy will have to recover from these deep wounds—and it won't be easy," she said.

As Congress was meeting in joint session to certify the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election, protesters tore down metal barricades at the bottom of the Capitol's steps and charged the building. The counting of the eletoral votes was halted and the building was placed on lockdown. 

A woman was shot inside the Capitol and taken to a hospital in critical condition. Multiple reports say the woman has since died. It's unclear who fired the shots, but Capitol police had their guns drawn. 

Several law enforcement officers were injured while trying to control the crowd. 

Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, called it "unfathomable." Washington State Democratic Party chairwoman Tina Podlodowski fired back, accusing state Republicans of enabling the violence. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, the only member of Washington's congressional delegation who said she would challenge the Electoral College vote count, called on Trump's supporters to "stop this now." She later announced that she will no longer challenge the vote certification.

"What happened today and continues to unfold in the nation's capital is disgraceful and un-American," she said in a prepared statement. "Thugs assaulted Capitol Police officers, breached and defaced our Capitol Building, put people's lives in danger, and disregarded the values we hold dear as Americans.

"I have decided to uphold the Electoral College results and I encourage Donald Trump to condemn and put an end to this madness." 

Newly elected Rep. Marilyn Strickland, who's been on the job for a couple of days, said you could see the moment inside the House chamber when "the dynamic changed."

"The doors shut on the floor, and then you started hearing about people storming the Capitol and getting inside," she told Q13's Brandi Kruse. 

"When you're told to go on lockdown in Washington DC, it does put some fear in you because this place is so secure to begin with," she said. "Think about that. That's the point of terrorism is to put fear in you." 

Gov. Jay Inslee called it an "attack on democracy itself" on Twitter as Trump supporters in Olympia breached the fence at the governor's mansion. Washington State Patrol said the governor and his family are "in a safe location." 

A 6 p.m. curfew is in place for Washington DC. Capitol Police were able to secure the Capitol several hours after the melee began. Click here for live updates.