Congressman Tom Suozzi describes scene from chamber during coup attempt

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump clash with police officers outside of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

New York Congressman Tom Suozzi said one Republican member of the House was in the midst of objecting to an item regarding the certification of the 2020 presidential election results when they were suddenly informed to don gas masks stored under their seats.

Teargas was being used in the Rotunda against Trump supporting rioters storming the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Describing the chaos that suddenly gripped the chamber when capitol police barricaded a door and drew handguns, Suozzi said both Democrats and Republicans were removed to a secure, undisclosed location.

Suozzi: Something broke through the main door, which is really where the president enters for the State of the Union to suck glass. The glass was broken. I don’t know if it was shots where it was somebody banging something…

We were trying to determine which store we should try and leave because there are people out in the hallways and testers that are out in the hallway. And as I left the chambers, I saw several protesters on the floor surrounded by Capitol Police. More than several, probably at least six or eight or 10, on the floor.

We went downstairs through some of the labyrinth of the Capitol complex to where I am now, sheltering in place where it’s safe, we believe.

I feel very strongly that we have to get back to the chambers and we have to certify this election and we have to [make] Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, President, Vice President, of the United States of America. I disagree very strongly with my colleagues who are objecting to this electoral process, but it was a debate on the floor.

Outside there was protests and a protest is okay too, but not violent protests and this violence that we’re seeing is completely unacceptable. The president fomenting this is completely irresponsible.

We can always rely on our values, and we have to stick with our values. And we cannot allow thugs and violent people to try and change the way our country works.

Very sad day for our country, that it’s come to this and that people would be so irresponsible to try and foment this type of feeling. You know, my colleagues on the other side of the aisles who foment these objections have said that they never thought it would succeed. Yet they continue to go through this farce.

In response to a request for clarification on the possible shots fired into the chamber:

You know, I think it was shots fired into the Capitol chamber. But I don’t know for certain I know this I saw holes in the glass of the door. I saw a barricade put up inside the chamber against the door. It sounded like a pop-pop-pop. I don’t know if it was teargas outside the door or if it was people banging holes outside the door or if they were shots being fired into the door.

There shots fired when I was getting ready to leave the chamber from up in the gallery that I heard outside.

From the supposedly secure location they had been removed to by Capitol Police, Suozzi said:

I see people huddled in corners talking to each other people on their phones trying to communicate with their families. Lot of people just having individual conversations and members of staff.