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Capitol Police Probing Reports of Gunfire

May 26, 11:06 AM (ET)

By DAVID ESPO
WASHINGTON (AP) - Police sealed off part of the Capitol complex on Friday amid reports that shots were fired in the garage of a House office building.

Capitol police were investigating "the sound of gunfire in the garage level of the Rayburn House Office Building," said an announcement on the internal Capitol voice alarm system.

The Senate was in session at the time, but the House was not.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., conducting a House Intelligence Committee hearing, interrupted a witness to request those attending the meeting to remain in the room and said the doors must be closed.

"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.

Jeff Connor, a spokesman for Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., said Capitol Hill police notified the office that gunfire was heard in the Rayburn building garage.

"They specifically said there was the sound of gunfire on one of the garage levels of the Rayburn House office building and asked staff to remain in their offices," Connor said.

While the House was adjourned for the Memorial Day weekend, at least one committee was meeting.

At the same time, Capitol police went room to room in at least parts of the Capitol advising staff to stay in their offices, according one House aide whose office was advised.

"They want us to stay in our offices and I'm perfectly happy to do that but I don't feel endangered," said Gene Smith, chief of staff to Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., who has an office in Rayburn.

"They said they heard gunfire in the Rayburn garage but this is a huge building, I'm guessing it's a car backfiring or balloons popping."

Many members of the House were back home in their districts for the Memorial Day recess. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was home in Illinois when the incident began, an aide in his office said.
 

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Had a email alert news-flash earlier on this.

Seemed too early to really make much of an opinion. Still pretty much waiting for the full skinny to come out - hopefully just a paranoid reaction to something innocent.
 

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CNN News site now has this -
> BREAKING NEWS Capitol Police say the apparent gunshots that sparked a Capitol shutdown were likely caused by workers using tools.
Nail guns probably :rolleyes:

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Bumper said:
I want to read a thesis on this by a Ph.D. behavioral psychologist!



The externalized effect that the fear of guns have on society! Generally the fear of guns is internal. But all this hoopla about guns in America is having a Psy-Op effect to where society cannot distinguish the sounds from a nailgun, a blown tire, and other things that go "bang!" from actual gun fire. This situation is starting to have similarities to the Salem Witch Hunts of 1692.



For the anti-gunners:

 

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donhamrick said:
The externalized effect that the fear of guns have on society! Generally the fear of guns is internal to one person. But all this hoopla about guns in America is having a Psy-Op effect to where society cannot distinguish the sounds from a nailgun, a blown tire, and other things that go "bang!" from actual gun fire.
LOL I used to be able to readily distinguish the sound of the AK from the M16 in an instant. Now I can usually tell the difference in platforms heavy caliber handgun vs rifle. At least in the 'burbs. In an urban environment, with the sound bouncing off buildings....there's no telling...for me anyways....
 

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Had a strong feeling it was going to turn out to be nothing in this case. I was wondering if some one "not in the know" had heard shots being fired from the police range there.
 

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Concrete nail guns use .22 blanks. You'd think they'd make some sort of announcement or send a memo saying there will be booms.

They initially said it was thought to come from the garage area. I was thinking "backfire".
 
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