Casey witness to Capitol shooting; local staffs reported OK

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey was outside the Capitol when the shooting began on the Hill today – he and nearby tourists were ordered to crouch by a car for their safety, he told reporters in Washington.

"We heard three, four, five pops," Casey said, according to the AP.

He later released this statement:

"My office has received countless calls of concern regarding the incident on the Capitol Grounds today.  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.  Once the Capitol Police gave the ok, I returned to my office.  My staff sheltered in place during the incident.  I appreciate the concern of Pennsylvanians.  I am grateful for the fast action and professionalism of the Capitol Police and my thoughts and prayers are with officer who was injured in the incident."

Every Senate and House office for lawmakers from Philadelphia and its surrounding area has reported that their staffs are safe and accounted for.

The shooting was on the Senate side of the Capitol complex, but in Congressman Pat Meehan’s office – across the entire expanse of the capitol -- the shots and sirens could be heard through an open window, an aide said.

The shooting interrupted what were otherwise routine activities – Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R., N.J.) was doing a radio interview, Rep. Bob Brady (D., Pa.) was meeting with students in his office.

Aides in their offices said everyone was OK.

So did staff for Meehan and other local Reps. Chaka Fattah, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach, Allyson Schwartz, Rob Andrews, Jon Runyan and Sens. Casey, Pat Toomey, Bob Menendez and Jeff Chiesa.


You can follow Tamari on Twitter or email him at jtamari@phillynews.com.

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