Marianne LeVine: We started hearing noise. We could hear they’d gone into the Capitol. We heard a lot of stampeding and cheers and people. We could hear chants of, “Four more years!” and all that.
Burgess Everett: We could hear people shaking the walls. At this point, people are on the Senate floor and all over the Capitol that shouldn’t be. We don’t even know this because we turned everything off because we’re trying to make it seem like nobody is in this room. We don’t know who the heck is in there. … I just heard banging and yelling, and police screaming and radio. I mean, it just sounded like bedlam.
Stephen Voss: On the north side of the Capitol is a security door. It was very chaotic there. About a dozen rioters had forced themselves through the door but then were pepper sprayed and pushed out; they fell on top of each other in a pile. The Capitol police tried to close the door, but a rioter had jammed a flagpole into the top of the door to keep it open. The police kept trying to close the door and eventually bent the flagpole. This went on for about 45 minutes. At one point the rioters used a metal barricade to try to ram the door. The door glass eventually broke but the police managed to keep the rioters out.
Olivia Beavers: That’s when you notice this sizable shift on the floor below, especially on the Democratic side, which I could see more clearly because I was closer, that, “Oh shit, something is going on.”