Members of Congress were among the first to issue reports of shots being fired outside the Capitol, sending out Twitter messages and reassurances of their own safety.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was the first member to tweet.
Shots fired outside the Capitol. We are in temporary lock down.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) October 3, 2013
Initial reports suggested the shooting happened on the House side of the Capitol, but the entire complex went on lockdown, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said.
Lock down in the U.S. Capitol complex.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) October 3, 2013
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) posted a picture of a police officer pointing a gun toward the outside of the Capitol. BuzzFeed reporter Kate Nocera first posted the photo.
Capitol on lockdown shots heard outside. Everyone stay inside. pic.twitter.com/wqLxPgyZ6k— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) October 3, 2013
Other members tweeted they were told to “shelter in place,” and that their staffs were safe.
Shots were fired at the US Capitol. We are on lockdown. I'm safe and so is our team.— Kyrsten Sinema (@RepSinema) October 3, 2013
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also tweeted that she was safe and expressed concern for anyone injured.
My staff and I are safe. I am grateful to our brave first responders and my thoughts & prayers are with anyone who was injured.— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) October 3, 2013
The House, which was in session, had to go into recess.
We have come to a recess on House floor due to apparent shots being fired on West front of Capitol. Whole Capitol now on lockdown.— Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) October 3, 2013
Multiple reports said a Capitol police officer had been shot, and was injured.
Office locked in/ down.got alarm call place & shelter.Sad news that police injured.hope no one hurt seriously or killed.— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) October 3, 2013
An alleged shooter was taken down, according to multiple reports.
Shooter has been located on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol Complex on the outside of the building.— David B. McKinley (@RepMcKinley) October 3, 2013
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) tweeted the alert he received via text message.
to shelter in place. Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, Go Kits and escape hoods; and move to— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) October 3, 2013
the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows. If you are not in your office, take shelter in the nearest office— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) October 3, 2013
But many lawmakers and congressional reporters said they didn’t know what was happening.
Please say a prayer. Reports of people hurt, but we really don't know.— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) October 3, 2013