Newly published messages exchanged by police early on Jan. 6 show that authorities had detained several people for possessing firearms hours before the U.S. Capitol was breached by rioters.
D.C. police reported “approximately 10 arrests ranging from simple assault to weapons possession” in the District as of 9:35 a.m. on Jan. 6, Washington TV station WRC, channel 4, reported this week, eight months later.
Correspondence obtained by the NBC affiliate outlet under the Freedom of Information Act indicates authorities continued to deal with instances of armed or potentially armed individuals as the day progressed.
One of the messages, sent by a U.S. Park Police official as former President Trump was apparently speaking, said a person with a rifle had been detained near the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.
Reached by the NBC station, a spokesperson for the U.S. Park Police said a 24-year-old was arrested for possessing the rifle and charged with having an unregistered firearm, the outlet reported.
That same email sent as Mr. Trump spoke also said that undercover officials were monitoring another person in a tree on 16th Street Northwest near the White House “possibly armed with a handgun on waist.”
Another message sent by a Park Police detective contained an update from the FBI that said two people had been detained at around 10:45 a.m. for possession of two guns in their vehicle, the report said.
Mr. Trump addressed his supporters on the afternoon of Jan. 6 during an event near the White House as members of Congress met at the Capitol to confirm his recent defeat to President Biden in the Electoral College.
Rioters stormed the Capitol soon after. Close to 600 people have since been arrested and charged with federal crimes by the U.S. Department of Justice, and over 50 have pleaded guilty.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat and a member of the select committee investigating the riot, told NBC4 Washington that police were “completely outnumbered and outgunned and outmaneuvered” by the rioters.