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Construction noise likely Capitol culprit

first_img“It’s a little unsettling to get a Blackberry message put in front of you that says there’s gunfire in the building,” he said. Indeed, one congressional staff member was taken to a hospital after suffering a panic attack during the lockdown and search, Schneider said. The woman was released a short time later.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – In the end, construction noise, not gunfire, was the likely Capitol Hill culprit. That was the “plausible explanation” a Capitol Police spokeswoman said officers were looking at after a phoned-in report of gunfire Friday set off a day of chaos and confusion. “There were some workers who were working in the area of the Rayburn garage in the elevator area, and in doing their routine duties, they made some sort of a noise that sounded like shots fired,” said spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. The gunfire report originated with Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., who had his staff call Capitol Police. “I heard what I thought to be between six and 10 shots. It sounded exactly like gunfire to me,” Saxton told Fox News Channel. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The call led police to briefly seal the Capitol and spend several hours searching the largest House office building floor by floor as staff members and a few lawmakers were kept inside. Outside the building, officers with rifles stood by and ambulances arrived. But in the end, police said there were no arrests, injuries or – apparently – gunfire. “Right now, we want to err on the side of caution,” Schneider had said before the all-clear, which came at midafternoon, hours after the first report. “Lives could be at risk. If we have a gunman in the building, we certainly want to find him. It’s premature to assume that it may not be a gunman.” The Senate was in session at the time, but the House was not as most lawmakers had left for the Memorial Day recess. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., conducting a House Intelligence Committee hearing, interrupted a witness to ask those attending the meeting to remain in the room with the doors closed. last_img read more