WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington D.C. police officers who responded to the siege of the U.S. Capitol last week are opening up about their chilling experiences.
Two officers with the Metropolitan Police Department told CNN on Thursday that the rioters tried to use their own weapons against them.
Officer Michael Fanone told the cable network that he found himself on the ground soon after arriving to the scene. He says the mob had overtaken him and began stripping him of his police gear.
That’s when Fanone heard words that sent chills down his spine. He says one suggested killing him with his own gun.
"I was just, you know, trying to fight as best I could,” Fanone told CNN. “I remember, like guys were stripping me of my gear, these rioters pulling my badge off my chest. They ripped my radio off of off my vest, started pulling like ammunition magazines from the holder on my belt. And then some guys started getting a hold of my gun, and they were screaming out, you know, kill him with his own gun."
Fanone said the officers were being sprayed with chemical irritants and struck with metal objects and batons, some of which he believes may have been taken from law enforcement personnel.
“They were striking us with those,” said Fanone. “And then it was just like the sheer number of riders, the force that was coming from, you know, from that side. It was difficult to offer any resistance when you're only about 30 guys going up against 15,000. I mean it was like real life, '300,' without the six-pack abs. "
Fanone said he considered using his gun to defend himself, but knew he didn’t have enough ammunition and thought he would be overtaken again.
Eventually, Fanone says he started yelling that he has children, trying to appeal to mob’s humanity in order to get them to let up. He says it seemed to have worked, though he says one of rioters who protected him said, “Thank you, but f*** you for being there.”
Another D.C. officer, Daniel Hodges, told CNN that one of the rioters was actually able to rip away his baton and beat him with it.
"Just the absolute zealotry of these people,” said Hodges. “How they 100 percent believed what they were doing was right and that they were the patriots, and nobody would get in their way. There's a guy ripping my mask off, he was able to rip away the baton and beat me with it. He was practically foaming at the mouth so just, these people were true believers in the worst way.”
On Wednesday, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said people will be shocked when more details of what happened on Jan. 6 come out.
At least five people died as a result of the riot, including a woman who was shot by police inside the Capitol, a Capitol police officer, and three people who passed away from medical emergencies.
Authorities are still working to gather intelligence about what happened the day of the riot, how much was planned in advance and who the intended targets were.