Lawmakers were instructed not to exit the Arizona state capitol as protestors gathering outside the building created a “hostage” situation late Friday night into early Saturday morning.
“Violent anti-abortion protestors attempts of an insurrection at the Arizona State Senate were thwarted Friday night, thanks to the swift action from local and state law enforcement,” the Arizona State Senate said in a press release.
“Protesters threatened to break the AZ Senate entryway glass,” Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted.
Police used tear gas to disperse the protestors and regain control of the building, according to Fox News.
“We are currently there being held hostage inside the Senate building due to members of the public trying to breach our security,” State Senator Kelly Townsend wrote on Twitter. (RELATED: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Attempts To Incite People Into ‘The Streets’ Outside Supreme Court)
State Senator Warren Peterson said several of his fellow Senators were armed.
Feeling safe at the Capitol as I sit by 3 of my fellow senators who are armed. pic.twitter.com/N300F9JAVl
— Warren Petersen (@votewarren) June 25, 2022
One Senator compared the violence to the breach of the United States Capitol that occurred on January 6, 2021.
“I expect a J24 committee to be created immediately,” she said on Twitter.
“Extremist demonstrators made their way to the entrance of the Senate building and began forcibly trying to make entry by breaking down windows and pushing down doors,” according to the Arizona State Senate press release.
WATCH: Chaotic scenes during pro-choice rally at the Arizona Capitol, forcing the Senate to go into recess pic.twitter.com/9xk257UsJF
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) June 25, 2022
According to the press release, the air circulation system in the building pulled the tear gas deployed on the demonstrators into the Senate chambers, preventing lawmakers from returning to the Senate floor.
“Senate proceedings were moved to another room in the building.”
Senate President Karen Fann thanked law enforcement for responding quickly to the situation.
“We are incredibly thankful for our local law enforcement who quickly intervened during what could have been a destructive and dangerous situation for our members, staff and public inside the Senate,” Fann said.