According to the Richmond (Va.) Police Department, a bullet shot through the window of Rep. Eric Cantor's (R) office was random, the liberal blog Talking Points Memo reported.
As a press conference Thursday, the House Minority Whip referenced the incident at his campaign office as part of a string of threats against lawmakers in the aftermath of the healthcare reform vote. But police reportedly say that the act was not targeted.
"What we were describing yesterday in fact describes an act of random gunfire," Public Information Manager Gene Lepley told TPM.
Cantor accused Democratic leaders such as DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine of "dangerously fanning the flames by
suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon."
Kaine and Van Hollen had made statements that Republican leaders were provoking their conservative followers to threaten or commit acts of violence against Democrats who supported the new healthcare law.
Many liberals have expressed anger with Cantor for referencing the incident, saying that he distorted it to make it sound like he had been the focal point of aggression.
But Cantor's spokesman Brad Dayspring told the liberal blog The Plum Line that the second-ranking House Republican did not know that the police determined the bullet was random at the time of the press conference and that aides contacted police to get details before the presser.
"We didn’t want to catch them by surprise, we wanted an update on the investigation, and we wanted to be 100 percent accurate," Dayspring said. "What was known at the time was that a bullet had been fired through the window and that the investigation was ongoing."