Senators used Twitter in order to quickly get the word out that they and their staffs were safe, as police responded to a report that that shots had been fired near the Capitol.
The incident started with a police chase that originated at the White House.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was outside when he heard the gunfire, according to a tweet from his office:
Sen. Sanders was walking outside the Capitol when he heard about 5 gunshots. Bernie is safe and his thoughts are with the injured.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 3, 2013
Was outside when the shots were fired my staff and I are safe and accounted for.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) October 3, 2013
Heard the gunshots & very grateful for the Capitol Police who I saw running to the danger & putting themselves in harm’s way.
— Rob Portman (@robportman) October 3, 2013
A number of senators were leaving the Capitol to return to their offices following Thursday lunches at the time the incident took place. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was talking to reporters in the basement near the Senate subway when Capitol Police officers came running out of the Capitol Visitor Center and up into the Capitol itself.
Some senators were on the floor, including Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, according to his office, which noted both the senator and staff at work despite the government shutdown were accounted for.