Capitol officer fears a violent repeat of Jan. 6 attack

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“This is how I’m going to die.”

That’s what U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell thought on Jan. 6, 2021 as an angry mob stormed the Capitol and dragged him by the leg.

“I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, ‘This is how I’m going to die, trampled defending this entrance,’” he said last July before a House Select Committee investigating the riot that disrupted a joint session of Congress as it affirmed the results of the presidential election.

On that January day, Gonell was assigned to guard the west entrance to the Capitol, which he’s described as a “medieval battleground”.

Nearly a year later, the emigrant from the Dominican Republic still can’t raise his left arm due to injuries he sustained during the attack, and the psychological wounds have also not healed for him or his family.

“They see me cry. They cry with me….

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