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Congresswoman Escobar on Capitol siege: ‘I thought there would be a mass shooter… shoot us all up’

WASHINGTON, DC -- El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar was among the lawmakers who sheltered in place as a group of violent protesters forced their way into at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

In an interview with ABC-7 after law enforcement hours later regained control of the Capitol building, Escobar elaborated on what she initially described on Twitter as "chaos and lawlessness @realDonaldTrump has created."

Here are Escobar's recollections in her own words to ABC-7 about what she says will be remembered as a dark and tragic day in American history...

"I’m fine. I’m safe. Thank God. My staff is safe, thank God. Thank God it was not worse. There has been bloodshed today, but it could’ve been in far worse numbers today.

The moment that I really started getting concerned was when I saw on Twitter that (protesters) had reached the top of the Capitol steps. I knew they were literally just outside the Capitol door. They would have to walk in through the Capitol door in order to get to the House floor door and I had hoped that there was at least a line of defense of law enforcement standing inside preventing them from getting inside, but clearly that was not the case.

At one point we were told that the mob had gotten into Statuary Hall (a chamber in the Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans) which is on the other side of an entrance. They were close. They were like circling around below us.

The Capitol Police took to the microphone and told us to immediately down, sit down. Somebody behind me asked why do they want us to sit down. And I said because clearly these guys have guns. And they don’t want us to be a target. So we sat down. They told us to be prepared to get down. To crouch down again so we wouldn’t be targets for the gunfire.

They proceeded to tell us to get the gas masks out from under our seat. The gas masks – they wanted us to have them ready to go because gas had to be used on the mob in Statuary Hall. So we were just ripping open, trying to figure out how to open these – that’s when I felt really nervous.

Obviously in El Paso we know what happens when there is a shooter and people are in a contained space. I was definitely scared and very nervous... People kept yelling get down get down! Right after that Capitol Police came in. Everyone who was on the floor was ushered out.

At the very beginning, I knew something was wrong when the went in and swept (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi away. The gas mask situation, that freaked me out. It made me concerned getting out and getting to safety, what that would be like.

It was more difficult to get those of us in the gallery out. They told us to get down. I could hear the mob outside. I could totally hear some very loud screaming. Then Capitol Police told us to get out on the other end. So we all had to crouch down on one side of the gallery to the other.

It was when I was on the other side of the gallery it sounded like the mob was going to come in. Capitol Police moved a big piece of furniture in front of the door in order to block their ability to get in – and pointed their guns – the glass broke. Capitol Police pointed their guns and then told them to put their weapons down, to get away from the door.  Capitol Police that were up in the gallery were told to get down.

My beautiful colleague Lisa Blunt Rochester began praying. It was definitely a terrifying moment. Then we heard a knocking on the door right behind us. A couple of us were like, 'do not open the door! Do not open the door unless you know who it is.' They said it was Capitol Police and that’s when we got out, through a tunnel into a location where we are now – about 150 of us – members and staff who are here waiting while the Capitol is cleared so we can return and proceed with the business at hand.

It was a coup. An attempted coup. This is beyond absolute lawlessness. This is beyond rioting. This is an attempt to subvert an election. This is an attempt to install an authoritarian regime in place of a democracy. It is heartbreaking, tragic, horrific, terrifying and, frankly, it’s an outrage.

And the fact that there are countries across the globe watching on their televisions, watching an attempted coup on American soil should outrage every single American in our country. This is unbelievable.

I would support absolutely anything that would remove (Donald Trump) from office immediately. He is a threat to our democracy. He is a threat to public safety. This is a man who incites violence for his personal purposes. His enablers are right there with him, helping him bring America to her knees. I don’t know that we would have support to have him removed, but I’m very concerned for our country until Jan. 20th.

It is my hope that my Republican colleagues feel remorse and withdraw their objection and perform the function that the Constitution requires them to perform (to certify the electoral vote). I hope that they do some soul searching.

This is a real national security risk. What happened today is unacceptable. Why we did not have more protection for the Speaker and Vice President Pence? The second, third persons in line to presidency - they were this vulnerable. That our government and our institutions are this vulnerable, I’m afraid of what it broadcast to the world.

I was surprised, I really was. I didn’t realize we were that vulnerable. When I was sitting there crouched in the gallery, I thought there would be a mass shooter who would come in and shoot us all up. I really did think that."

RELATED CONTENT: Borderland congressional delegation tweets scenes of ‘chaos’ at U.S. Capitol

El Paso / News / Politics / Top Stories / Video

Erik Elken

Erik Elken co-anchors ABC-7’s flagship newscasts.

Comments

25 Comments

        1. KUTV has confirmed a Utah man involved in violent protests in Utah this Spring was in D.C & stormed the Capitol amid violent protests.
          @JimSpiewak
          spoke to him. The story on 2 News at 10. His most often used hashtags: #blm #antifa #burn #fuckthesystem #abolishthepolice #fucktrump

  1. Ayanna Pressley called for “unrest in the streets”, maxine waters openly said to harass Trump officials and supporters. Well look who’s scared now. Look who was cowering in fear of whom. Look who needed POLICE to save them…..democrats. If you call people names long enough they will react. But folks like Mark turner aka:mia w/cara/etc will only do that behind the screen on the internet cause they need a safe space.

    1. Those rioters should be arrested. To storm the Capital Building is disgusting, but my question is; was that woman armed when shot? Did any of those that breached the Capital, armed? I have yet to see any weapons in the hands of those Trump supporters.

      1. I doubt they were armed because if they were that is all the MSM would be talking about. So, cops did shoot and kill an unarmed woman through a window in a door. And nothing. True peaceful protestors pushed past the security. One got killed and people are celebrating her death. It is a dark say, indeed.

        1. KUTV has confirmed a Utah man involved in violent protests in Utah this Spring was in D.C & stormed the Capitol amid violent protests.
          @JimSpiewak
          spoke to him. The story on 2 News at 10. His most often used hashtags: #blm #antifa #burn #fuckthesystem #abolishthepolice #fucktrump. there is your plant.

        2. Home | Politics
          Tags: matt gaetz | republicans | capitol | riot | antifa
          Gaetz, Other Republicans Suggest Antifa Behind Capitol Violence
          matt gaetz speaks into mic
          Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., addresses the crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump during a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Sanford, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP)
          By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 07 January 2021 11:07 AM

          Short URL|Email Article|Comment|Contact|Print| A A
          Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and other Republicans are claiming, without evidence, that the violent riots at the Capitol on Wednesday were instigated by members of antifa, and not supporters of President Donald Trump.

          “I don’t know if the reports are true, but The Washington Times has just reported some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company that some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters, and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group antifa,” Gaetz said on Wednesday night, after Congress resumed its session.

      2. Boy you sure changed your tune when it’s your breed Madmike. She was shot because she always where she wasn’t suppose to be. Stupid retired cop that you are. Moron.

  2. F*ck that horse faced cow, they burn Portland for over 100- nights and they say nothing and now they speak of fear? Loser’s all and it’s only going to get worse

  3. I don’t agree with what was going on but you can’t tell people not to over react while reporting burning and looting as peaceful all year. Since January of last year there was violent protests, burning and looting and it was widely accepted. Graffiti that said “down with America”, “acab”, etc. and now people are suddenly they are all about the constitution? I think blm feels a little shown up, I think they wish it was then that stormed the capitol, instead the stromed best buy and Macy’s.

      1. Ayanna Pressley called for “unrest in the streets”, maxine waters openly said to harass Trump officials and supporters. Well look who’s scared now. Look who was cowering in fear of whom. Look who needed POLICE to save them…..democrats. If you call people names long enough they will react. But folks like Mark turner aka:mia w/cara/etc will only do that behind the screen on the internet cause they need a safe space. In short, you are a wimp!

    1. The democrat party and their leftist allies mercilessly crushed conservatives day after day for over four years, called anyone that disagreed with them “racists and NAZIS” and now you want unity? Your hypocrisy knows no bounds and YOU CAN GO TO HELL!

    1. KUTV has confirmed a Utah man involved in violent protests in Utah this Spring was in D.C & stormed the Capitol amid violent protests.
      @JimSpiewak
      spoke to him. The story on 2 News at 10. His most often used hashtags: #blm #antifa #burn #fuckthesystem #abolishthepolice #fucktrump

  4. Wednesday, we saw how a group of normally law abiding people can turn into a mob. I understand how some of them feel, but once mob mentality takes over, you are no longer demonstrating. I believe the vote was rigged by mail in ballots and corrupt voting machines too. I don’t know why that officer chose her to shoot, or if he just shot into the mob, but it was an unlawful mob at that point. I believe that it will be rules a justified shoot.

  5. I see that they removed the article in which alberto threatened violence on the children and families here he dislikes. I stated that I wondered if KVIA would share liability if one of our lunatic leftists here tried to carry out those threats, and they removed it.

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