Lawmakers share reactions to Capitol shooting

Author: , Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published: Oct 03 2013 10:03:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 03 2013 11:16:17 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. -

With the capital in lockdown mode, several members of Congress were close enough to see the incident unfold before their eyes.

All day we've been contacting lawmakers from our region to find out what they experienced.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and his colleagues were ushered toward safety by police officers.

"We heard pops that sounded like shots. I heard three," said Sen. Casey.

In a written statement, Casey later said "I was walking outside of the Capitol when I heard a popping noise that sounded like gunfire and the Capitol Police quickly directed us to appropriate nearby shelter. I appreciate the concern of Pennsylvanians. I am grateful for the fast action and professionalism of the Capitol Police."

Meanwhile, Congressman Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania tells us he was sitting near a Capitol building balcony with a colleague when he heard the shots ring out.

"They were in quick succession but they weren't all together, so it was something less than a full second in my estimation," said Congressman Matt Cartwright. "The other thing we saw was somewhere between 12 and 20 capitol police officers running as fast as they could toward the danger."

In a separate building, representative Mike Fitzpatrick says he found out what was happening through the PA system.

"I was in the building directly adjacent to the Capitol meeting with constituents from Bucks County when the Emergency Management Annunciator system began going off. I've heard them in drills in the past but this was the real thing so it was kind of shocking," he said.

Investigators say they're pleased with the response and that the barricades surrounding the White House did their job.

And for the Pennsylvania congressman we spoke to, a hectic but thankfully short lived incident.