Sanders ordered to hit the deck during Capitol Hill shooting

Vermont’s congressional delegation is unharmed after a shooting on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon. Police ordered Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was outside at the time, to take cover behind a car, according to his press secretary, Jeff Frank.

According to a Reuters news report, a car chase from the White House to the Capitol ended with police shooting and killing a woman in the car. Officials say there was also child in the car.

“He [Sanders] was walking back from a meeting in the Capitol to his office at the Dirksen Senate Building. He heard five gunshots, police told him to sit behind a car, and then he was able to get back to the office at Dirksen,” Frank explained.

Frank said he believed Sanders was accompanied by Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker.

Sanders told VPR the incident was “unsettling.”

Rep. Peter Welch was about to make a speech about the government shutdown on the House floor when police and staff interrupted and the Capitol was placed in lockdown, according to his communications director, Ryan Nickel. The full statement from Nickel is below.

“Congressman Welch and his staff are safe and unharmed. At the time of the incident, the Congressman was on the floor of the House about to speak about the government shutdown. House proceedings were interrupted by Capitol police and staff. Members and staff on the House floor, including Congressman Welch, were ordered to shelter in place in the House chamber. The House went into recess. The congressman’s staff were notified by the Capitol’s emergency alert system and sheltered in place in his office in the Rayburn Building.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy is also safe. The incident occurred at about 2:25 p.m. and the lockdown ended at about 3 p.m., Reuters reported.

“Senator Leahy was attending a meeting in the Capitol when the incident occurred,” an aide said in a an email statement. “His security detail informed him of the incident, and he immediately sheltered in place and instructed his offices to shelter in place.”

Alicia Freese

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