U.S. Rep. Walorski had just entered her office when word started spreading that shots had been fired, that a lockdown was in place.
“Buzzers started going off, pagers started going off,” she said Thursday, Oct. 3, in a brief phone interview from Washington, D.C., soon after the lockdown was lifted.
Seemingly at once, her staffers — trained for such situations — sprang into action, as did the staff of other lawmakers. “Our staff basically started barking out orders,” she said.
Per the lockdown, lawmakers and staffers returned to their offices, shut the doors and awaited additional information. According to media reports, someone apparently fired shots outside the U.S. Capitol building Thursday afternoon, around 2:30 p.m.
Walorski and her staff huddled in a safe room within her office in the Cannon House Office Building, watching the unfolding events on television, trying to figure out what had happened. Likewise, the spokeswomen for U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats, Indiana’s two senators, said the lawmakers and their employees hunkered down in their offices, waiting things out.
Eventually, around 3 p.m. Thursday, the lockdown was lifted. Walorski, Donnelly, Coats and the three lawmakers’ staff weathered the situation unharmed, and Walorski sent a shout out to Capitol Hill police, who managed security throughout.
Still, there were some uncertain moments.
“It was tense moments here,” said Walorski. “It’s a scary moment.”