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Local Trump supporters blame outsiders for Capitol chaos

“Literally there was people everywhere"
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:58:53-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Hours after the violent and chaotic scene at the Capitol building, President Trump supporters from Western New York arrived back at home.

“What we experienced was people respecting each other,” remarked Kim, a Western New Yorker.

Kim, a Western New Yorker, stepped off the bus after returning from D.C.

A woman, who only identified herself as Kim, stepped off the bus in the early morning hours Thursday saying she had no idea what had happened until she got back on the bus to return home.

“Flags were being flown — people were being respectful,” Kim recalled.

The supporter of the president says she participated in a patriotic-style protest that honored the country and constitution.

“It was very sad — because of what we see there. It's hard to know who it was that did it,” reflected Kim. “Literally there was people everywhere — people where respecting — they weren’t even really loud and obnoxious.”

WNY Trump supporters depart from bus after arriving back home.

But Kim said she is "sorry" to see what occurred.

Peter Harding of Cheektowaga also attended. He shared live posts throughout Wednesday on his Facebook page.

Peter Harding attended D.C. event and shared live posts throughout Wednesday on his Facebook page.

Thursday morning he held a live Facebook chat for more than an hour saying at one point quote “if we can take the Capitol building -- there is nothing we can't accomplish.”

7 Eyewitness News reached out to both Harding and Jul Thompson for interviews, but they did not respond.

For those with law enforcement backgrounds they are calling the violent attack on the Capitol disheartening.

Bernie Tolbert is a former FBI special agent in charge.

“They say the last time the Capitol was breached — I think was back in 1814 — 1816 when the British burned it. We are so far removed from that — you don't expect to see something like that,” Tolbert stated.

Tolbert said as they identify those responsible for the damage and destruction they will most likely face both federal and local charges starting with destruction of government property.

“Those would be up to attorneys — the United States Attorneys, local district attorneys — to make those decisions, but there clearly will be charges,” remarked Tolbert.

Buffalo’s U.S. Attorney James Kennedy issued a statement late Thursday afternoon regarding the investigation into the Capitol incident:

“We have received a number of leads and tips regarding yesterday’s events at the Capitol Building. Working with our law enforcement partners, we are actively investigating the information we have obtained. Should we determine that there is a legal nexus between the crimes committed at the Capitol and our jurisdiction, we will not hesitate to charge those responsible. Violence is never an acceptable means of protest. We are one Nation, and as such, the unity which comes from a shared respect for both the rule of law and one another represents our only hope for lasting solutions to the challenges we face. Escalating hostility and violence diminishes us all.”

Dr. Steven MacMartin, associate professor, Homeland Security at Medaille College, in Zoom interview.

Dr. Steven MacMartin is associate professor of Homeland Security at Medaille College in Buffalo.

MacMartin there is plenty of electronic and social media to find those responsible.

“This event — it was on thousands — if not tens of thousands of cameras — and recorded,” MacMartin noted. “There’s already links and requests for tips — you’d be surprised at how many tips come in identifying people that we’re there.”

MacMartin said will work to identify identify them.

"Go out and interview them, do warrants where appropriate try to develop secondary witnesses," MacMartin said.