Derrick Evans, a newly elected Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, numbered among the right-wing rioters who violently broke into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, shown in a video he posted to social media.
In the now-deleted video, Evans can be heard encouraging the crush of people around him to push into the building, which had been placed on lockdown after supporters of President Donald Trump began to clash with police outside.
At one point, Evans leads the crowd in a chant of “Trump!”
Once the rioters breach the Capitol, Evans yells, “They’re in! They’re in! They’re in!”
He then encourages the group to move into the building and can be heard screaming: “We’re in! We’re in! We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!”
“Keep it moving, baby!” he yells in the video he posted.
Evans turns the camera around at certain points, making himself clearly visible amid the sea of rioters in red “Make America great again” hats, carrying “Trump is my president” flags and wearing conspiracy theory garb.
“Who thought this was gonna happen today?” he says.
In a statement subsequently posted to Facebook, Evans refused to apologize for obviously participating in the break-in. Instead, he claimed, bizarrely, that he was a member of the media.
Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol earlier in the day during a rally to protest Democrat Joe Biden’s election win that was held just as Congress and Vice President Mike Pence began formally certifying the Electoral College count. Though some Republicans condemned the violent insurrection, Trump has resisted denouncing his supporters, telling them in one video posted to Twitter, “We love you. You’re very special.”
At another point in his footage, Evans can be heard laughing as a lone police officer inside the Capitol tries frantically to disperse the rioters. Reports, photos and videos from the scene do not indicate that police made a forceful initial attempt to prevent the pro-Trump crowd from marching forward until it was too late.
One woman died of a gunshot wound sustained inside the Capitol, although it is not yet clear how she was shot.
Evans has not taken down video of himself among the Trump supporters on the National Mall before the insurrection.
“All you liberals, lay down. We don’t care what you liberals think,” Evans says in a live-stream that remains posted to his personal Facebook page. “Patriots are rising up in this country ― better get used to it.”
The first-time lawmaker was sworn into office ― a process that includes swearing to uphold the U.S. Constitution ― last month. He was previously known as a local anti-abortion protester whose repeated harassment led one woman to file a restraining order.
West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) condemned the riot in a statement but said he had not yet spoken to Evans about it.
“He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today,” Hanshaw said. “While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and participating in a violent intentional disruption of one of our nation’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The last time the U.S. Capitol was stormed was during the War of 1812, when British soldiers attacked the building in late August of 1814.