Federal law enforcement vehicles raced to the Capitol in an effort to beat the mob there. Soon, after breaching through barricades and security checkpoints, the protesters were inside the building -- forcing lawmakers to go into lockdown.
Members of the angry mob went door to door waving Confederate flags, looting the offices of senators and congressmen and repeating the false rhetoric that the president has spread since November -- that Trump was the real winner of the election.
Lawmakers were forced to retrieve gas masks from under their seats as tear gas was released into the rotunda.
A woman was shot amid a standoff between police and protesters in a stairwell outside the House chamber. The woman, Ashli Babbitt, was one of four people who died as a result of the mayhem.
As the minutes turned to hours of violence, politicians called on Trump to instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol. In a Twitter video that was later removed, Trump told them to go home, but repeated that the election was "stolen" from him and said he "loved" the protesters.
People still remained in the Capitol minutes before the 6 p.m. curfew ordered by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser began.
Senators returned to the session at 8 p.m. to confirm electoral votes, but the building was not deemed cleared until about 1:30 a.m., nearly 12 hours after the frenzy began.
For an expanded look into what happened at the Capitol riots watch the ABC News special, "24 Hours: Assault on the Capitol," exclusively on Hulu beginning in the evening on Jan. 11.