WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol when supporters of former President Donald Trump breached the Capitol after his speech challenging the 2020 election results.
Texas Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who was there that day, said it was one of the saddest days he's experienced in the U.S. Congress but also one of the proudest.
Gonzalez (D-McAllen) says he was inside the House of Representative chambers when he heard the rioters had breached the capitol.
He recalls hearing three gunshots.
Gonzalez says everyone was fearful not only for their safety but also for what was to come. As more rioters made their way into the building, members of Congress had been moved to a safe room.
"I didn't know to what extent the threat was. I didn't know if they had identified our residents or our family members," Gonzalez said. "I called home. I called other elected officials in the district to ensure them I was safe and that things were going to be okay."
Gonzalez says those who participated in the riots should be severely punished.
To date, the FBI has arrested more than 700 people and are still looking for 350 others who they call violent criminals.
On Wednesday, lawmakers questioned U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger about the preparedness of the department moving forward.
"Today, I am confident that the USCP has made significant progress addressing the deficiencies that impacted the department's response on January 6.," Manger said. "And while more work needs to be done, the men and women off the Capitol Police stand ready for their mission each and every day."
There will be vigils and moments of reflection at the capitol today, and President Biden is expected to speak to the importance of a peaceful transfer of power.
Trump has canceled plans for a news conference from his Florida estate.