Capitol riots: Army veteran who wouldn’t leave anyone behind seen comforting fellow lawmaker in viral photo

‘I wasn’t going to leave House floor until every member was gone,' Mr Crow says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 07 January 2021 21:07
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Congressman Jason Crow describes attack on the Capitol

An image of Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, comforting a fellow lawmaker went viral after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol

Mr Crow was determined not to leave anyone behind and he was the last to leave the chamber. He stretched out a comforting hand to his colleague Susan Wild of Pennsylvania after they were told by Capitol Police to get down and take cover as chaos reigned just outside the chamber door.

Ms Wild said she “started hearing shots and breaking glass and didn’t really know what was going on, except that it was terrifying," according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr Crow, a former Army Ranger, told The Denver Post:  “I got into ranger mode a little bit".

"I wasn’t going to leave the House floor until every member was gone, so I waited until we were able to get everybody out.”

Mr Crow and Ms Wild were sitting in the House gallery when they were forced to take cover.

“Everybody was to remain where they were and keep doors locked and be quiet,” Ms Wild told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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She heard a commotion in the hallway and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer were taken off the floor of the House.

House members were told to put on gas masks that were stashed under their seats as "tear gas was going to be deployed at some point", Ms Wild said.

Maryland Representative David Trone tweeted images of himself and others wearing the mask. 

Mr Crow told the Denver Post: “Most of the members didn’t know how to use the emergency masks, so I was helping them get their emergency masks out of the bags and helped instruct a bunch of folks on how to put it on and how to use it."

When they were told to evacuate, "The mood just completely changed,” Ms Wild said.

“People were shouting over each other, so it’s really hard to understand what people were saying.”

Ms Wild and Mr Crow were among the last in line to leave the House chamber, when they were told to get down and that they couldn't evacuate because of what was happening in the hallway.

As she was speaking to her children on the phone, they heard the shots and breaking glass in the background.

“There was a 15-20 minute window where we had no way out. We were surrounded,” Mr Crow told CBS4 in Denver.

“The Capitol police closed the doors, they locked them, and actually started to barricade the doors and windows with furniture, pulled their guns out and were getting ready to defend us in the chamber," he said.

Ms Wild said: “We did not have nearly enough police on the House floor. There wasn’t even one policeman at every door when this first all came down.”

She didn't get up off the floor until it was clear that a door out of the chamber had been secured and that they could finally evacuate.

She can't remember how long she took cover on the ground. She told the Philly Voice: "I don't know how long that lasted. I honestly don't remember."

Hours later, when the building was cleared and once again deemed safe, members of Congress got back to work and finished the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

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