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Texas closes its Capitol building after Trump supporters storm U.S. Congress

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday closed the state Capitol and surrounding grounds after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. during the certification of the Electoral College.

An official with the law enforcement agency confirmed the move in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

“The Capitol and Capitol Complex are closed to the public effective immediately,” the agency said in a statement attributed to Freeman Martin, the agency’s deputy director of homeland security operations.

In a statement soon after, an agency spokesperson told the Tribune that the building and its grounds were closing to the public “out of an abundance of caution” and that “DPS will continue to adjust our operations as needed to maintain public order and address potential threats.”

The news comes as chaos erupted in Washington as Trump supporters protested the certification of the Electoral College.

The shutdown of the Texas Capitol, which reopened to the public Monday after being closed for months, also comes days before the Texas Legislature is set to convene for its 2021 legislative session.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump supporters had also started gathering outside the state Capitol. Media reports did not appear to indicate that the event was violent, with rally goers holding signs and cheering as cars drove by.

— By Cassandra Pollock of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.