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Some Tri-State residents in Washington during riot recount experience

Locals recount protest at U.S. Capitol

HANNIBAL (WGEM) -- As Democrat and Republican lawmakers push to remove President Trump from office accusing him of inciting Wednesday's riot at the U. S. Capitol, some Tri-State residents, who were in Washington that day, said they were stunned by the violence.

Northeast Missouri residents Gail Park, Lindell Shumake and Andrea Shrum shared their experiences on Friday.

The former teacher, Park, former Missouri lawmaker, Shumake, and former nurse, Shrum, made the trip to Washington, D.C., on a bus from St. Louis on Tuesday to support President Trump and attend his rally on Wednesday.

"It's probably the largest crowd of any event I've ever been in in my whole life," Shumake said. “At no point did I feel unsafe in that crowd."

They said, from their vantage point, the crowd was a typical rally crowd with patriotic chants and songs.

"We were energized. We felt it was a positive thing. We felt like we were doing something, and the people around us were the same way," Park said.

They made their way to the U.S. Capitol after Trump's rally and then found out that part of the protest had turned into a riot.

"We didn't even know anything bad had gone on until, you know, until my kids started texting me and saying, 'Are you safe?' and I said, 'Are you kidding me?' I'm at the Capitol right now, and this is almost kumbaya," Park said.

Shortly after learning that rioters had breached the U.S. Capitol, they said they heard concussion bombs and smelled tear gas.

“We were supposed to stay longer but when the mayor put the curfew in order, we had to rush down to Union Station and hurriedly get on the bus because we were going to be in violation of the curfew," Park said.

These locals said violence is not acceptable. They said their goal was to support their candidate on Wednesday, which they still do.

"I just kind of fell in love with his outlook for America, and that he stands for us, you know, the people of America. You know, he wasn't a politician. He didn't need the money. He had the money," Shrum said.

After Congress certified the electoral votes this week, President Trump said he will now focus on a smooth transition of power to the Biden administration.

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