The nation watched in astonishment as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, welding chaos and destruction, in an effort to stop the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden Wednesday, Jan. 6.
In the aftermath, Congressman Lance Gooden tweeted, "I am devastated to hear of the loss of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. My deepest sympathies go out to Officer Sicknick's family and loved ones. The perpetrators who did this will be found, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
However, Gooden continues to support the investigations of the Nov. 3 election, tweeting, "Some woke 'republican' congress members are discouraging colleagues and @realDonaldTrump from fighting for election integrity. I will continue the FIGHT while others back down and criticize those of us who listened to our constituents."
Locally there are mixed emotions as to what actually transpired at the nation's capitol on Wednesday and who was behind the storming of Capitol Hill.
"I was disgusted to see the President, Senator Cruz, and Representative Gooden call for overturning the will of the people and throwing out millions of certified votes because the election didn't go their way," Peyton Williams said. "I was shocked and appalled seeing the images of domestic terrorists attacking our capital to try to stop the certification of the election and saddened to see that the attackers killed a Capital Police officer and injured dozens of others. The politicians who lied to their supporters & worked them into a frenzy should be held accountable, as well as the violent attackers who tried to stop the results of an election through violence. We, as Americans, have to be better than this. The attack was a stain on our democracy and who we are as a people."
"People want to point fingers," Justin Briggle, Rector at St. Philip's Epsicopal Church said. "Since when has that advanced the human race, or let alone our own personal and family relationships? Maybe, instead, we could recognize that we've all played some role in this, that we've all gotten a kick out of a deep seeded desire to be right, whatever that might mean for us. We've become deeply skeptical of everyone we don't agree with, and it's tearing away at us. What a shame. We've cut off different voices, we've alienated one another, we've forgotten how to grow. Humanity is capable of so much more. I believe humanity has been redeemed – we don't always behave like it. Recent events remind me of this. There's a better way."
"It was a disgraceful and sad day," Stan Perry said. "It was a culmination of President Trump's dangerous rhetoric. It was a testament to the number of people who follow dangerous conspiracy theories and have accepted the President's Alternative Truth Universe. It also showed that the response to protesters is directly related to the color of their skin. Hopefully, yesterday will expose Trump as a despotic madman and his followers will realize they have been conned by a demagogue."
"You can not get into a federal building with the Vice President inside that easy," Andria Zabransky said. "This was an inside job. My dad has worked for the government on aircraft for 40 years , they had snipers and anyone with a brain knows that’s not how a federal building would normally be protected with the Vice President inside! We have watched cities burn for 100 plus days and no one bats an eye and the media refuses to cover it. Violence is not okay on either side but I can say only one side is being censored and is not allowed to stand for their belief."
"If the frontline of destruction was all black the capitol would have been a blood bath," Tammy JoRae Andrews said. “While my heart hurts for anyone that lost their life to do this unnecessary event, I have to wonder why the capitol wasn't secured."
"In my view, the invasion of the Capitol was an embarrassment and disgrace," Stacy Jenkins Bennett said. "The building should have been better protected from the damage and I want to see the people who invaded the Capitol prosecuted. I don’t think we will ever see a fair election again unless there are reforms to the process. I am a fiscally conservative Republican who believes in limited government, and in the personal liberties guaranteed in The United States Constitution. The destruction displayed Wednesday does not represent my political views. I admire Mike Pence, and I believe he behaved like a gentleman that day."
President Donald Trump finally conceded to an "orderly transition on January 20" after Congress concluded the electoral vote count early Thursday, Jan. 7, certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
During the mayhem on Capitol Hill, members of Congress were forced into hiding, offices were ransacked, and the formal congressional tally halted for more than six hours.
Trump had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest lawmakers' actions, and later appeared to excuse the violent occupation by the mob, which forced its way inside and clashed with police.
Trump only reluctantly issued the tweets and taped a video encouraging an end to the violence. The posts came at the insistence of staff and amid mounting criticism from Republican lawmakers urging him to condemn the violence being perpetrated in his name, according to the official.
"I know your pain. I know you're hurt. But you have to go home now," he said in a video posted more than 90 minutes after lawmakers were evacuated from the House and Senate chambers. "We can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special."