WASHINGTON -- U.S. lawmakers reacted to the Capitol shooting and lockdown Thursday, grateful for the response of Capitol Police.
After tweeting that shots had been fired outside the Capitol, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) chastised leading Democrats for their "violent rhetoric." He quickly deleted the comment from Twitter and said he had "tweeted out of emotion." He called the shooting a "terrible and inexcusable tragedy."
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said he thought the sirens "sounded like the usual motorcade." Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) told reporters the shots sounded like a car backfiring. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) described seeing people drop to the ground after hearing shots.
"I observed Capitol Police officers rushing towards danger while instructing the rest of us to take cover," Brown said in a statement. "I thank them and their families for their sacrifice and my thoughts and prayers go out for their safety."
Brown wasn't the only one to celebrate the courage of the Capitol Police force. Lawmakers released statements and took to Twitter to thank officers for their work. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told ABC News it was a "national disgrace" that the officers weren't getting paid for their service on Thursday.
“I suspect at the end of the day they will get paid, but they have mortgages to meet, they have college loans to meet,” Sanders said. “These are not millionaires. They are struggling people who have families and kids.”
Lawmakers released statements and took to Twitter to thank the officers for their work.
“Today was another reminder of the bravery of police officers and first responders," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said in a statement. "I observed Capitol Police officers rushing towards danger while instructing the rest of us to take cover. I thank them and their families for their sacrifice and my thoughts and prayers go out for their safety.”
My deepest gratitude to @capitolpolice for their courage & service. They protect our nation's capitol every single day & we're so grateful.
— Rep Phil Gingrey, MD (@RepPhilGingrey) October 3, 2013
Thank you to the Capitol Police and all first responders for their vigilance.
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) October 3, 2013
The brave men and women of our Capitol Police put their lives on the line every day to protect us, and I thank them for their service.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) October 3, 2013
We all owe the Capitol Police a debt of gratitude for their work every day; no finer examples of professionalism & bravery.
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) October 3, 2013
Reports of shots fired near the @USCapitol; we are in temporary lockdown. Thank you to the US Capitol Police for keeping us safe.
— Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) October 3, 2013
Thank you to the brave men and women in uniform who worked quickly to ensure our safety. Thoughts and prayers are with those injured today.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) October 3, 2013
Special thanks to the Capitol Police for being our #ThinBlueLine.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 3, 2013
Thank you to the US Capitol Police for the work that they do. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured officer and all those affected.
— Michael McCaul (@McCaulPressShop) October 3, 2013