Senator Murphy\’s Staff Heard Gunshots Outside Windows In D.C.; Car Has CT License Plates; Stamford Connection

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal Date:

Senator Chris Murphy’s staff members were conducting their business on a Thursday afternoon when police officers opened fire in Washington, D.C. after a high-speed chase involving a black car with Connecticut license plates that was driven by a Stamford woman.

\”We heard the shots,\’\’ said Ben Marter, Murphy\’s chief spokesman. \”It happened right outside our office. We’re on the third floor of the Hart Building. We’re right around the corner from Constitution [Avenue], where the car ended up.’’

Staff members jumped up and immediately looked out the windows, where they could see the Capitol Police responding where the gun shots had been fired.

“It was that close. We were right there,\’\’ Marter said. \”It was hard to tell because there’s construction going on between Hart and the Supreme Court. We initially thought it was construction noise because it was Boom! Boom! Boom! in rapid succession.’’

During a chase across Washington that started near the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue and ended near the U.S. Capitol, a woman had been driving a black Infiniti sedan with Connecticut license plates. Various reports were that the car had been registered in Stamford. Police were still investigating the woman\’s identity and the circumstances of the incident Thursday.

She was identified in multiple media reports as Miriam Carey, a 34-year-old Stamford woman who had a young child in the car with her. A spokeswoman for Congressman Jim Himes, a Greenwich Democrat who represents Stamford, declined to make any immediate comment.

Stamford police were searching a condominium complex at 114 Woodside Green on Thursday evening in connection with the incident. The complex is off busy Washington Boulevard and near Scalzi Park in an area north of Interstate 95.

Murphy himself was not in his office at the moment and did not hear the shots. But the staff did.

\”We all heard it,\’\’ Marter said. \”The Senator was just off the Senate floor in the cloak room, right outside the Senate floor. They told the members they were in lockdown, so he stayed in the Senate chamber.’’

After attending \”active shooter\’\’ training drills by the U.S. Capitol Police, Murphy\’s staff was better prepared for the incident.

“The staff here all gathered together in the middle of the office,\’\’ Marter said. \”There was an instantaneous alert system. All of our cell phones flashed an instant message. Everybody gets the same alert.’’

Before the gun shots, it was not simply just another day at the office. The federal government is partially shut down because of a funding dispute in Congress over President Obama\’s healthcare law, and only about one-third of Murphy\’s 36 staff members in Washington, D.C. and Connecticut have been working this week.

At the time of the shooting, there were about nine staffers in the Washington office, and those in the offices along the wall could hear the shots.

“We were going about our business,\’\’ Marter said. \”The Senator had been on the floor speaking, earlier this afternoon. He was due to come back. He stayed in the Senate chamber.’’

They received a “shelter in place order – close all the blinds, lock all the doors and gather in the innermost place in the office,’’ he said.

“We heard the shots. We looked out the window and saw the Capitol police responding immediately,\’\’ Marter said.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said that the Senate went into recess shortly after word of the shootings spread.

“I was on the floor of the Senate at the time, speaking with a number of my colleagues when one of the Senators rushed into the chamber and said there has been a shooting’’ and that “a capitol policeman has been injured.’’

“We were barred from going back to our office,\’\’ he said. \”Everyone in the office was told to stay away from the windows. … All the offices were locked down. No one could leave their individual offices.\’\’

Blumenthal said that his staff members did not hear the gun shots.

“It seems to be a very isolated incident involving one person who seems to have been extremely troubled, acting in an extraordinarily bizarre, even deranged matter, raising the possibility of mental illness,\’\’ Blumenthal said.

“The lockdown is over and we are back to relative normalcy,\’\’ he said. \”The folks in our office were pretty shaken. We have allowed our interns to go home. We’ve encouraged them to talk to friends or relatives.’’

U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney did not hear the shots because he was in his office on the other end of the Capitol complex.

\”I was in the Rayburn Building on the other side of the campus,\’\’ Courtney said. \”We had just had a delegation conference call on Sikorsky with the undersecretary of Defense when the squawk box blared out the warning that there had been a shooting. We had people outside the office and they came scurrying in.\’\’

He added, \”This place is on edge right now. We had a shooting at the Navy Yard, which is really close to the Capitol. And tensions are high with the shutdown.’’

Prompted by the partial shutdown of the federal government that was into its third day, fewer people are in the Capitol complex.

“In general, the population is lower,\’\’ Courtney said. \”The House office buildings, the cafeterias, some of the offices with civilian federal employees are shuttered. The number of people is less than a regular business day, but the House is in session. It’s still crowded around here. Even though the tourists are being denied access to the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, it’s still crowded.’’

After the lockdown was lifted, the House went back into session as if nothing had happened outside.

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13 thoughts on “Senator Murphy\’s Staff Heard Gunshots Outside Windows In D.C.; Car Has CT License Plates; Stamford Connection

  1. America Is Dying

    How many people are on Senator Murphy’s Staff and how many people are on all the other Member’s Staff at the Tax Payer’s Expense? Anyone know? And are they getting paid along with Money for Foreign Aid while the Government Shutdown B.S. continues?

  2. Connecticut is circling the drain

    How could that be with all the tough gun control regulations in Wash DC?

  3. Reality Check

    The first 3 comments out of the box from angry republicans. Great to see the ditto heads are out in force. To “America is Dying” Murphy’s staff is the same size as all other Senator’s staffs are who are not in leadership positions. They are all given a budget (Republican and Democrat alike) to operate their offices with. Are they getting paid? As sure as their Republican counterparts are. The issue is; is it right for 1 party to throw a temper tantrum and shut down a government when they disagree with a law? The last time this happened, it led to the cessation of the Confederate states due to their grievances with Abraham Lincoln (Father of the Republican party no less). We all know how that ended. If the tea party patriots and their minion do not like the Affordable Care Act then they should get like minded people elected and pass legislation that addresses their concerns.Cessation from the process and shutting down our government is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they created the 3 branches of government. 2 of 3 branches agree, ACA is law. Yet 1/4 of the remaining 1/3 of the govt. branches (Legislative) disagrees and is creating this impasse. Shameful.

    1. johngaltwhereru

      Hey reality check, here is a reality check for you:

      There are only 2 portions of the legislative branch; the house and the senate.

      But that is only part of what makes the “1/4 of 1/3 of the legislative branches” comment incorrect. The other part is that if “1/4 of 1/3rd of the legislative branch disagrees”, that means that 3/4ths of 3/3rds agree and could pass anything they want. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

      The reality is that 100% of the Majority in 1/2 of the Legislature is lockstep voting with the President , both of whom refuse to compromise, and 90% of the Majority in the other 1/2 of the Legislature is voting against the President, and has passed bills to continue funding the Government, which have been killed in the Senate.

      That is reality.

      1. The Conn-servative

        Reality, I believe the real hissy fit is from the cry babies on the left and the socialist bully thug occupying the White House. Numerous attempts by the house to stop the shutdown and team Obama has gotten what it has wanted. In the end, it will cost us a lot more than the so-called shutdown,but that’s the message that this hack wants to send because it’s all about capturing back the house in 2014 isn’t it?

      2. Reality Check

        John, the math is this. 2 branches of legislative. Senate with 2 parties (Democrats and Republicans)-The House with 2 parties (Democrats and Republicans). The Senate wants to keep the government funded, including McCain, McConnell and other republicans. That is 2/4 of the legislative branch. In the house, Democrats want to fund government, that is 1/4 of legislative branch. So I stand by my math, 3/4 of our legislative branch wants to fund our government and our future obligations (Debt Ceiling). 1/4 of legislative branch does not. And as you know, the executive branch and the Judicial branch have already shown there support for the Affordable Healthcare Act. 1/4 of 1/3 of a system should not be able to shut it down. The constitution created the 3 branches for checks and balances. Everything in the health care law has checked out. Now it is time for the people to take their government back from the Tea Party.

    2. America Is Dying

      I’m neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am however an American Non Public Sector Citizen who sees Greed and a certain Religous and Non Religous Belief ruining the Country.

  4. Keith

    What a tragedy. 36 staff members? As for Murphy not being in the office. He was most likely in CT with Dicky Blumenthal looking for a photo op. Have these guys ever in DC? Everytime I see them on the news they are in Connecticut at some tragedy trying to get their faces on camera. If I looked like those two I would avoid cameras.

  5. Bill Aborn

    Of course they heard shots … they happen everyday in D.C. (or maybe they just want to be a part of the story and get some Courant ink).
    Now the Vietnam vet, Blumenthal, on the other-hand …

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