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US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman hailed as hero for bravely standing up to rioters

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Goodman's actions may have saved the lives of several US senators

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer is being hailed as a hero for valiantly standing up to an angry mob of rioters during the storming of the Capitol and leading them away from U.S. senators.

Officer Eugene Goodman singlehandedly faced down several rioters last Wednesday on the second floor of the Capitol. In a video posted to social media, Goodman can be seen confronting a mob of Trump supporters in a stairwell, and then baiting them to follow him up the stairwell and through several hallways. He leads them to a room where several other police officers back him up and confront the rioters.

But what wasn't immediately apparent is how his actions may have saved the lives of several U.S. senators.

In the video taken by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic, there's a point at which Goodman reaches the top of the stairs and backs into a hallway as the rioters approach him from the staircase. He looks to his left, where between two chairs is a doorway that leads to the entrance of the Senate floor.

At the time, the Senate was still in session. Debate was occurring over whether the Senate would accept the Electoral College results from Arizona when members of the Secret Service escorted Vice President Mike Pence from the chamber. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) was interrupted in the middle of a speech as senators were forced to evacuate the premises to escape the mob.

Just outside, Officer Goodman was confronting the rioters. When he saw that they were quickly approaching the Senate floor, he shoved the leader of the crowd to gain his attention. After the rioters' attention was focused on Goodman, he led them down the hall, away from the Senate chamber, giving lawmakers time to escape.

The leader of the rioters, seen wearing a QAnon T-shirt, was identified as Doug Jensen of Iowa. After the events at the Capitol, he was arrested by local authorities and the FBI and faces federal charges.

Goodman, an Iraqi War veteran, is winning praise as a hero for his bravery.

"Last Wednesday, I was inside the Senate chamber when Officer Eugene Goodman led an angry mob away from it at great personal risk," Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) tweeted. "His quick thinking and decisive action that day likely saved lives, and we owe him a debt of gratitude."

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