Return to Transcripts main page

Your World Today

Capitol Police Investigate Gunshot Sounds in Rayburn House Office Building

Aired May 26, 2006 - 12:00   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our coverage continues here on CNN. We expect any minute to hear a news conference from Capitol Hill Police on a situation that's been unfolding for about the last hour and a half on Capitol Hill.
It was about that time that two police officers reported they heard the sound of gunfire in the garage of the Rayburn Office Building. And since that time, they have sealed off the House office building, and at this time they appear to be increasing their boundaries of where they want to get people out of.

And they are leading people away from the Rayburn Office Building, also have now sealed off the Capitol building as well.

As this goes on, business, to some extent, still does happen -- is happening on Capitol Hill. And the reason you're seeing garage pictures there, the G3 level of the garage of the Rayburn Office Building is where the shots, if anything, was heard. If indeed it was shots. The sounds that were heard happened there.

We are -- as we were saying, business still does go on in the House. The House Intelligence Committee continuing their business. It was a little bit earlier -- and there's Jane Harman of southern California -- though that they got word that something might be up. And let's show you what happened as they got word that there might be a problem. They had to go into a different type of mode.

Let's listen to that video.


REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R), MICHIGAN: Excuse me, Mr. Schonfeld (ph). I'd ask all members, please, to stay in the room. There are -- there are reports of gunfire in the building, that there's been gunfire in the building.

The request is that everyone stay in the room. So...


HOEKSTRA: Yes, please close to doors.

Oh, I'm sorry, there's a wire under the door. Close the door as far as you can.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KAGAN: And let's go live now to the news conference. Here's Capitol Hill Police.

Let's listen in.

SGT. KIMBERLY SCHNEIDER, CAPITOL POLICE: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Sergeant Kimberly Schneider. I'm the public information officer for the United States Capitol Police.

At 10:30 this morning we received a report of shots fired inside the Rayburn garage. At this time we continue to investigate. We do have tactical teams inside the building.

I'll take any questions at this time. I do anticipate holding additional briefings today based on additional information.

I will take questions at this time. It won't be very many, because the information is still coming in.

QUESTION: Is a congressman involved in any fashion in this incident?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information at this time.

QUESTION: Was anybody injured?

SCHNEIDER: That has not been confirmed.

QUESTION: Ma'am, I heard on your radio that you talked about a suspect between 5'11 and 6'. Is there a suspect that you guys have?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have any suspect information at this time. Our units are inside of the building, and we are responding to reports of shots fired inside the Rayburn garage at this time. We have several tactical units inside determining...

QUESTION: Is there someone looking for...

QUESTION: Have your searches turned up anything so far?

QUESTION: If you could just look forward.

SCHNEIDER: Our searches have just turned up several staff members in the building. We haven't had -- we have not gotten any reports of anybody being captured, anybody being arrested. We have not identified anybody who might have a weapon on them at this time. We continue to investigate.

QUESTION: Is anybody injured right now?

SCHNEIDER: We have no reports of any injuries at this time. The report is that shots were fired. The report has been gunfire, shots fired, a loud sound. Those are the reports we're getting.

QUESTION: You have not...

QUESTION: You've had no independent confirmation at this time, however, that a gun was fired?

SCHNEIDER: That's correct, and we're still work on it at this time. That's why I say we have many tactical units inside.

The information came in as a call-in. It was called into the Capitol Police dispatch center

QUESTION: Do you know who called it in?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information at this time.

QUESTION: Are you looking for a gunman right now?

SCHNEIDER: Well, part of our investigation right now includes searching the building with tactical teams, as I've said. And part of that search includes looking for anybody who may have a weapon, as the report initially stated.

QUESTION: There were reports there's a firing range in that area. Have they looked into whether that could have been where the gunshot noise had come from?

SCHNEIDER: The entire Rayburn building is being searched at this time, and that includes the firing range.

QUESTION: What about the rest of the Capitol complex? Are you searching outside the Rayburn building?

SCHNEIDER: We're searching inside the buildings right now. If additional information becomes available and it becomes necessary for us to search elsewhere, we will certainly do so. But we're handling this as a very serious matter. I just want to make that clear to everyone.

QUESTION: Tell me more about the firing range.

QUESTION: Could someone have heard gunshots from the firing range and not known that that's what it was?

SCHNEIDER: That's being investigating this time as well. The Rayburn garage does have a firing range.

QUESTION: What's the status of staffers currently in the Rayburn building?

SCHNEIDER: Staffers have been instructed to stay inside of their offices, they've been instructed to stay inside of the building at this time. We are communicating with any staffers who may be in the building through our internal communications systems, and everyone is being made aware of...

QUESTION: Is it possible this is not a serious matter?

SCHNEIDER: Right now, we want to err on the side of caution. Lives could be at risk. If we have a gunman in the building, we certainly want to find him. It's premature to assume that it may not be a gunman. Right now, the reports are that there was gunfire in the Rayburn building, and that's what we're investigating.

QUESTION: Do you know anything about the activity that's been going on -- that's been going on...

SCHNEIDER: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the first part.

QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about the ambulance activity outside the Rayburn building?

SCHNEIDER: Well, if you have an injuries, you want to have ambulance, you want to have medical teams on standby. That's a precaution. We have no reports of injuries at this time.

QUESTION: Where did this happen?

QUESTION: Did anybody report this other than the caller?

SCHNEIDER: We received one call in this morning, and that's what initiated our tactical teams entering the buildings.

QUESTION: So you have one report, not reports.

QUESTION: How many law enforcement agencies are involved in this?

SCHNEIDER: Currently, we have the Capitol Police involved. I believe the FBI joint terrorism task force may also be assisting us with this. Our command center has been -- has been stood up, and we do have several law enforcement agencies assisting in this investigation at this time.

QUESTION: One report, not more? One report?

SCHNEIDER: The report has been that there were shots fired.

QUESTION: Were there shell casings found anywhere?

SCHNEIDER: Not that I'm aware of.

QUESTION: Did this happen in the garage? Where did it happen?

SCHNEIDER: Well, part of our investigation right now is to discover where the initial report of gunfire may have come from. That involves a lot of searching, that involves searching a large area, that involves searching the Capitol building, the Rayburn building, connecting buildings with the underground tunnels.

QUESTION: Were you investigating anybody in the vicinity (INAUDIBLE)?

SCHNEIDER: We're investigating the reports of shots fired, of gunfire in the Rayburn building, at this time.

QUESTION: What kind of firing range? How large is it? How often is it used?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have the specifics on the size of the firing range. I don't I would disclose what -- how much we use the firing range. But I can tell you it is a law enforcement firing range strictly for law enforcement use. That's a part of the Rayburn building, and that's part of the area we're searching as well.

QUESTION: Just to be clear -- just to be clear...

QUESTION: How many people are inside the building right now? Have you got an estimate?

SCHNEIDER: I'm sorry, could you repeat that?

QUESTION: How many people are inside the building right now under lockdown?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that number for you at this time.

QUESTION: What about rumors of a hostage?

SCHNEIDER: The only report that I have is shots -- shots fired in the Rayburn building. I have no other information.

QUESTION: Is it just the one phone call that you got, or did anybody else report hearing shots as well?

SCHNEIDER: We received one phone call this morning, and that was at approximately 10:30. That's what initiated our search of the building.

QUESTION: Have you identified the caller?

QUESTION: But no corroboration?

QUESTION: Have you identified the caller?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information. The caller has not been identified to my knowledge. At this time, I do not know who the caller was.

QUESTION: Was it a House...

QUESTION: No one was injured, to your knowledge?

SCHNEIDER: We have no information of any injuries at this time. No injuries have been reported.

QUESTION: So you have no reports of anyone seeing someone with a weapon? You do not have that? No report from officers seeing a weapon?

SCHNEIDER: We have a report from this morning of shots fired. And I believe that that is sufficient enough for us to take the procedures that we're doing right now, which are the proper procedures to search the building with our tactical teams and take this as a very, very serious matter.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) suspicious weapon...

SCHNEIDER: We're continuing to investigate. I have no new information at this time other than we're investigating.

QUESTION: One anonymous phone call, is that correct? One anonymous phone call. That's what...

SCHNEIDER: We received one phone call this morning that came in at approximately 10:30.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) on the other side of the building saw a body -- someone on a gurney, or a gurney brought out. Do you know anything about that?

SCHNEIDER: I have no information about that.

QUESTION: Have you reviewed any video footage of the area?

SCHNEIDER: I have no information about that at that time.

QUESTION: Do you have any reports of anybody wheeled out -- any injuries today?

SCHNEIDER: No reports of injuries. If anybody was wheeled out, they may have been a staff member who may have been disabled who may have been disabled, who may have been in a wheelchair. It could have been a visitor. But no report of injuries.

QUESTION: Are there or are there not reports of any suspicious weapons?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information. I haven't received that.


SCHNEIDER: Well, our search is being conducted in a matter that for security reasons will not be disclosed. But we are taking this seriously, and we're doing this very precisely. It's going to be a process that many might not understand, but in order to ensure the safety of the visitors and the citizens on Capitol Hill, this what we're going to be doing at this time.

QUESTION: How many officers are involved?

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) continue to visit the Capitol...

SCHNEIDER: I'm sorry, I can't...

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) to continue to visit the Capitol complex other than the Rayburn building?

SCHNEIDER: The Capitol complex is open. I have no information that the Capitol building is not open at this time. QUESTION: Do you have estimates as to how many people are in the building today?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that number.

QUESTION: Are the tunnels open? Are they closed?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information at this time. The last I heard about 25 minutes ago, the tunnels were open.

QUESTION: Do you have...

QUESTION: What's your guesstimate for how long the search would be in the Rayburn building?

SCHNEIDER: That would be inappropriate. As new information comes out, we will -- we will address it and we will take it as such.

QUESTION: When do you expect your next news conference?

SCHNEIDER: I anticipate holding an additional news conference at this site in about an hour. Unless information changes, that's what I intend to do.

QUESTION: What are the regular security procedures here at the garage? Can you tell us about that? How do people access the garage? Who gets in?

SCHNEIDER: Well, who normally gets into the garage are people who are -- who have passes, who have credentials to get into the garage. Only authorized persons. The garage is not an open public place.

QUESTION: Are there vehicle searches before entering the garage?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Was there any construction taking place in the area where this occurred?

SCHNEIDER: I'm not aware of that at this time.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) can you confirm that?

SCHNEIDER: I have no reports of injuries at this time.

The number of officers working on the scene today, I do not have the number. But there have been several units who have been called in. So we do have additional personnel working on this investigation.

QUESTION: Can anybody confirm the sound of the shot other than one phone caller? Were there any other reports of anybody else hearing that?

SCHNEIDER: What we'll do now is at about 12:15, let's say we'll hold another press conference at this site at 1:15. Any additional information I'll share it with you. And I think you for your time.

QUESTION: Thank you, Sergeant Schneider.

KAGAN: Well, it sounds like we're going to get another update in about an hour, but this last update did not offer up a lot of new information. That was Sergeant Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Hill Police Department telling us what is happening and why they are proceeding like they are.

About an hour and 40 minutes ago, Capitol Hill Police received a single phone call, a single anonymous phone call into their dispatch center that there was the sound of shots fired. Just the sound of shots fired in the garage, the third level of the Rayburn House Office Building.

They have decided to investigate. Tactical teams, they say, are there all over this House office building. There's no suspects, any kind of suspect information at this time.

The entire Rayburn office building is being searched, as well as other parts of Capitol Hill, including the firing range, which is on a different level of this building. Staffers that were inside are being told to stay inside at this time. They have decided to err on the side of caution and treat this as a very serious incident, even though that is all the information they're offering at this time.

Once again, they're just investigating the sound of shots fired that came from a single phone call into their dispatch center. And they're not even quite sure who placed that phone call.

Another update from Capitol Hill Police coming from that same site in another hour.

Meanwhile, let's go back to Washington, D.C., and John King -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, a very serious scene right at the end of Officer Kimberly Schneider's briefing there. Two other Capitol Hill Police officers approaching here. They were prepared, it looked, to interrupt her briefing just as she was winding down, and they whispered some information to her and they walked away. But it will be interesting at the next briefing to see if they were bringing her new information or simply telling her that things were changing in a way that it served no purpose for her to continue to brief reporters.

As she noted, she was trying to relay the best information she had. But at one point, when she was asked if the tunnels were open, she said last time she had checked 25 minutes ago, they were not. So one of the things we need to understand in a situation like this is the information the public information officer has, in many cases, could be 10, 15, or even more than 20 minutes old, and we have an unfolding investigation, as we have seen all morning.

And part of our coverage has been Ted Barrett, who is standing by outside of the Rayburn building. Ted, what have you been seeing in the last half-hour or so as we've been dealing with this news conference and other developments?

TED BARRETT, CNN PRODUCER: John, just as Sergeant Schneider was finishing her news conference, a gurney was wheeled out of the main entrance of the Rayburn garage, and what appeared to be an African- American woman was put into an ambulance. It sat there for about 20 minutes during the time of that news conference and pulled away just as the news conference ended.

We don't have any indication that that person is the victim of a gunshot or anything like. That she may be completely unrelated. But nonetheless, it did -- it did occur just as -- and right here at the main staging area of this incident.

KING: All right. Ted Barrett, stand by.

I need to go back to Daryn Kagan in Atlanta. But please continue your reporting. Thank you, Ted.

KAGAN: And John, we'll get more from Ted in a moment. First, though, let's go to Dana Bash, who is there on Capitol Hill -- Dana.


Well, you just heard John King saying that the public information officer sometimes gets reports 10, 15 minutes later than others. I just spoke with a senior law enforcement official who told me this, that he just got a briefing that the reason why we saw the immediate change, the lockdown at Rayburn, the lockdown once again in the Capitol, is because two women apparently came out of a gym inside the Rayburn building, very excited, claiming that there is a man with a gun in there.

And Capitol Police have gone in there to try to find out if that is the case, if there is a suspect in there. Again, this is very preliminary. It's important to make that very clear since this story has been changing by the second.

But this is a senior law enforcement official telling us that the reason why things have become so tight, security has become so tight so quickly, once again, is because they gut a report that two women came out of the gymnasium inside the Rayburn building, very excited, claiming that there was a man with a gun in there.

That is all we know at this time. We will certainly keep you posted if we get any more information on that.

KAGAN: All right.

Well, let's go back to the geography lesson here, because what we know is the original report from 10:30 a.m. local time this morning, that the sound of shots fired came from the third level of the parking garage there. Do you know where the gym is of the Rayburn building?

BASH: I don't know how close, to be honest with you, how close the gym is from the actual -- where the G3 level of the garage is. The Rayburn building is an enormous building.

So I don't -- we should probably get Ted Barrett on...


BASH: ... who is much more aware and knowledgeable about the geography inside the Rayburn building. But there is a gymnasium, of course, inside the Rayburn building. It's unclear how far or if -- I don't know how much the G3 level of the Rayburn building expands underneath the building, if it goes the whole length of the building or not.

KAGAN: All right. Then why don't we go ahead and toss it back to Washington, D.C., and John King, who has the ability to talk to Ted Barrett -- John.

KING: Daryn, as Dana was just pointing out, as we talked about earlier, there are two basement levels and then the three-level garage. The gym is in one of the basement levels. It is room 319 in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Ted Barrett, if you're still with us, explain to our viewers the geography. If the gunshots were first heard on G3, now you have this report -- and we should emphasize a report, two women saying they think there was a man or somehow reporting in an excited way there was a man inside the gym with a gun. We have not confirmed that, but help us with the geography of the building.

BARRETT: The gym is sort of right in the center of the building. And I believe it is not too far from, you know, one of the many doors that lead to the parking garage.

I mean, the way I'm used to getting to the gym from there, from the G3 level, is down a long hallway, but I believe there's another entrance, deeper in the building. So I'm pretty sure it's near there, John, but I cannot be exact, I'm afraid.

KING: Let me tell our viewers from the information, the official information we have from the Capitol about this. The gym is in room 319. Again, it's in the basement of the Rayburn House Office Building.

There are two levels of that basement. It is behind gray metal doors. Authorized personnel only.

From the outside you might not know it as a gym. Inside, it has three basketball half-courts, a golf driving net, and a workout room with weight lifting and other cardiovascular machines, just as you would at any gymnasium.

And again, we should emphasize to our viewers we are following reports, and reports often in cases like this turn out to be sketchy, or people are excited given all the activity going on around them. But Dana Bash just reporting from a source that two women left the gym excited, saying they believe there was a man with a gun inside. That is why the police activity now focused on the gymnasium in the Rayburn House Office Building. And as we heard from the Capitol Hill spokeswoman just a short time ago, the initial report came in a phone call to the dispatch center of the Capitol Hill Police around 10:30 this morning saying that the caller said that he or she -- she did not identify whether it was a male or female -- the caller saying had heard gunfire in the vicinity of the Rayburn office building.

The investigation began initially focused on level G3 of the Rayburn building garage. We've been showing you that throughout the day. You see on the screens here much of the Capitol Hill complex, and with the police activity outside.

The Rayburn building here in this top left of these monitors, the building you see, it is a giant complex, more than 50 acres of office space in this building. It was completed in 1965. More than 1,600 cars can park in the garage of that building.

So as the police try to secure that building, and now apparently focusing on a report that there could possibly be a gunman in the Rayburn gymnasium, quite an enormous task for the police. Capitol Hill Police saying they will brief us additionally in the next hour, but obviously it's a very fluid situation on Capitol Hill.

We should stress again there is no confirmed gunman, no confirmed gunfire, but as the reports come in, the initial call was of gunfire in the Rayburn office building garage. And as Dana Bash has just reported, one source saying the investigation is now focused on the gymnasium area in the basement of the Rayburn office building because two women came out of that gym and said they believe there was a man inside with a gun.

Daryn, back to you.

KAGAN: You know, John, this might be a good time to talk about the balancing act that we work here when we have these breaking news situations. So much information comes into us, and we -- the balancing act, we want to bring our viewers and our listeners the latest information, but a lot of it ends up not panning out.

KING: It is an enormously frustrating situation as a reporter, as I assume it can be an enormously frustrating situation for a viewer as you get these unconfirmed reports.

People in a situation like this are scrambling. People see police officers running around with handguns drawn, with automatic rifles drawn. They're telling people to run from the scene.

They're also asking people, "What did you see? What did you hear?"

As we have heard from the scene over the last hour or two as we've been covering this, some of the construction workers say they were in the area, they didn't hear gunfire. Maybe people heard dropping pipes or dropping of wood. We've heard reports of others in the area saying there were other loud noises in the area. But we do know from the police -- and the reason they are taking this serious and the reason they should take this seriously is they did have a caller into the dispatch who reported sounds of gunfire. And now, of course, we're hearing from Dana Bash and her sources additionally that two women came out of the house gymnasium saying they believed there was a man in the gym with a gun.

So in a situation like this, the police of course have to take it seriously. Mike Brooks spoke earlier of that tragic event a few years ago where two Capitol Hill Police officers were killed.

The police have to take it seriously. What you often get from witnesses, whether you're covering a fire at a local courthouse somewhere, a fire at a local building somewhere, you can ask five different witnesses who were in roughly the same position and sometimes you get five different stories -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Yes. And these are new pictures, John, that we're getting in to us from one of our affiliates, WUSA. I believe it might have to do with one of the women who came out of the gym who appeared to be upset, as you said.

That was the first time we had the Capitol Hill Police, instead of moving it in one direction of bringing this down step by step and closing this down in the geographic area that they were focusing on, suddenly it took a turn. And they became more serious as they moved people away from the Rayburn building and how they also then put the Capitol building in lockdown once again.

KING: If you were watching when Kimberly Schneider -- again, the public information officer for the Capitol Police force -- just as she was beginning her briefing, she was on a cell phone, trying, of course, to probably get a little bit more information before she gave her briefing. And then just at the end of the briefing, two police officers approached, essentially looking as if they were going to interrupt her if she was planning to keep going. She was already wrapping up at that point.

It is a difficult job because you have so many police officers on the scene. You have the FBI task force, you have D.C. Police who have responded to help out as well, you have the ambulance personnel. All of them report information back to a central location, but their top priority is on searching this building, is on putting things in place. So oftentimes, there's a delay in reporting information from the scene back to the people who then pass it on to the news media.

And Daryn, as we discuss this, I want to go back to the scene and our Brian Todd, who I believe has some new information.

Brian, are you there?

Brian Todd -- Brian, are you...

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I'm sorry, John. We just had a lot of commotion around here. I didn't quite hear you.

I can add a little bit to the earlier reporting that we have a senior law enforcement source telling us they're investigating these accounts, alleged accounts of a possible gunman near the gymnasium at the Rayburn building, but he also tells me that they're investigating the possibility, the possibility, that this might have been a plain clothes police officer that someone might have seen and gotten alarmed at.

They again have no evidence of any injuries, they have no evidence of -- they have no signs of a tangible suspect at this point. And again, they reiterated at the news conference, as you might have heard, no evidence of a shooting, no shell casings, no injuries at this point.

But again, just to emphasize, they are looking into the possibility that the person that these witnesses might have seen could have been a plain-clothed police officer.

KING: Brian Todd, thank you for that. And keep up your reporting of the scene.

And Daryn, as we were just discussing, this is often what happens in these cases. Everyone in the Capitol complex has, of course, been put on alert for a possible gunman. So these women may have seen something, it may turned out that they saw more than what the police believe, possibly a plain-clothed officer. We just simply don't know.

And that's often what happens in a chaotic situation like this. People report what they see, and they see what they see, obviously, but they don't know how to quite put it into context as all this unfolds. And we are in the position of passing information along as we get it, which is why we continue to say, even as we report what sources are telling us, there's no confirmation of any actual gunshots, as Brian Todd noted, no gun casings, no confirmation at all that anyone has been hurt related to this incident. And the police simply say that they are investigating reports of gunshots, and then, of course, investigating all the subsequent tips and reports and observations that come into them.

KAGAN: Right. And actually, you know, we can go back to what Sergeant Kimberly Schneider said about a half-hour ago. They only had a single report, a single phone call, an anonymous phone call into their dispatch center of shots fired.

Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill with new information -- Dana.

BASH: Hi, Daryn. Well, I just -- as you and John were talking about this report about possibly about women in the gym thinking that there could be a gunman in a gym in the Rayburn building, there are -- and John was talking about the fact that the gym is on the basement level of the Rayburn building. There are apparently two gyms.

One is on the G2 level of the garage. That's for House employees. And then there's one just for House members, which is on the basement -- in the basement, I should say. Unclear where this -- which gym this report came from, but to be clear, there are two of them that this could possibly have happened in. This report -- and again, it is important to keep emphasizing that this is a report -- a senior law enforcement official tells me that they are looking into the fact that two women say that they saw a man with a gun inside one of these two gyms inside the Rayburn building.

A couple of other things to report to you. We do now believe that -- we're getting conflicting information about the Capitol building itself.

I had one staffer tell me that they were not able to get out. I'm unable to go down to the doors right now -- but that they were not able to get out of the Capitol building. But I just saw another notice that went out to Senate staff saying that the Capitol building remains open.

So there is conflicting information about the status of the Capitol building. And we'll let you know as soon as we -- as soon as we get that.

One other thing. Another notice went out to members and staff on the security procedure inside the Rayburn building. I'm not going to go through details of it to be -- to be -- because it is security, and it's pretty detailed, this notice, telling members and their staff what to do.

I can tell you that they were told to go into their office and lock their doors. But there actually is very detailed procedure that they are told about in terms of communicating from inside their office to Capitol Police outside.

Again, I don't -- I don't think it's appropriate to tell what you that procedure is, because it is a very detailed security procedure, but this notice just went out to members and staffers who are inside the Rayburn office building, which is definitely -- there's no dispute about this -- the Rayburn building is still locked down.

KAGAN: Dana Bash, thank you.

And let's go back and listen to the sound that we did get just a few minutes ago from the public information officer from Capitol Hill Police, Sergeant Kimberly Schneider. This is what she had to say.


SCHNEIDER: I don't have any suspect information at this time. Our units are inside of the building, and we are responding to reports of shots fired inside the Rayburn garage at this time. We have several tactical units inside determining...

QUESTION: Is there someone looking for...

QUESTION: Have your searches turned up anything so far?

QUESTION: If you could just look forward.

SCHNEIDER: Our searches have just turned up several staff members in the building. We haven't had -- we have not gotten any reports of anybody being captured, anybody being arrested. We have not identified anybody who might have a weapon on them at this time. We continue to investigate.

QUESTION: Is anybody injured right now?

SCHNEIDER: We have no reports of any injuries at this time. The report is that shots were fired. The report has been gunfire, shots fired, a loud sound. Those are the reports we're getting.

QUESTION: You have not...

QUESTION: You've had no independent confirmation at this time, however, that a gun was fired?

SCHNEIDER: That's correct, and we're still work on it at this time. That's why I say we have many tactical units inside.

The information came in as a call-in. It was called into the Capitol Police dispatch center

QUESTION: Do you know who called it in?

SCHNEIDER: I don't have that information at this time.


KAGAN: So that was just a few minutes ago, maybe 15 minutes ago. And then just right after that happened, Capitol Hill Police came to the media that were sitting right there and told them to move.

Let's listen to that.

So this is the very site where -- where media were told to gather for the news conference, then they were told to break down and move, but not given an explanation as to why that happened.

We expect the next news conference to take place in about 45 minutes, but we haven't been given the exact location. But that's when Capitol Hill Police said they would gather the media again and tell them exactly what -- what they know.

We're getting close to the bottom of the hour, so let's go ahead for those of us who are just joining us and recap and tell you what we know.

About two hours ago, a single phone call goes into the dispatch center of Capitol Hill Police that there was a sound of shots fired, the third level, the G3 level of the parking garage that's underneath the Rayburn building. And as you look up on your screen, it's the yellow area that has been highlighted.

This is described as a sprawling complex. It is an office building which services the House side of Capitol Hill.

Now, since that time, there's been no evidence that any shots have actually been fired. No victims, no gunman found. But this has been a fluid situation.

We've seen different parts of the Capitol in different amounts of lockdown as this goes on. It looked like this was a situation that was coming down in escalation, and then just in the last few moments we've seen parts of Capitol Hill go back into lockdown. We've seen members of the media moved away from the Rayburn office building, and we've seen people moved away from there.

We have a full team of producers and correspondents that are covering this, along with me. I'm Daryn Kagan. I have Dana Bash on Capitol Hill and John King inside of our Washington, D.C. bureau. Also, a number of producers that have been sprawled across Capitol Hill as well, bringing us the latest information on exactly what is taking place.

Let's go ahead and bring in John King in Washington, D.C., with the latest on what he has -- John.

KAGAN: Well, Daryn, we're continuing to track all this. And as you've been noting, of course, getting conflicting reports as we go.

Let's try to remind our viewers a bit of what we're talking about here. The Rayburn House Office Building is this massive complex familiar to those who are familiar with Capitol Hill, but perhaps not to many around the country.

I'm wondering if we can get the graphic back up here. I want to explain to our viewers what it is -- why this could be taking so long to search this building.

(INSERT 1200_

... why this could be taking so long to search this building. The Rayburn building, I see it over here. If I could -- here we go. We have it over here now. The technology. The Rayburn building is the one in gold here. It is 50 acres of office space. There are 169 three-room suites for members of the House in this building, and it is a -- four stories above ground, two levels of basement, and then three parking levels underground as well.

Again, we're talking more than 50 acres of space here, as the police search. You see here from above, from the Google Earth technology, there's a courtyard in the middle of this building. There are two courtyards on either end. Again, the office is all the way up. The initial -- the investigation focused on the garage, the G-3 level of the garage. But as you can see, it is a sprawling complex.

And what you cannot see, there's an underground subway that takes you over to the main Capitol building. There are underground tunnels in that area. So one of the tasks for the Capitol Police, in trying to resolve all this, is to go inch by inch, foot by foot, and search this building, looking for any evidence that there could have been gunfire. They have a number of teams on the scene, but it is an incredibly sprawling building.

And, Daryn, excuse me, as we've talked to people in the building throughout the day, they have been told to stay in their offices. They've been told to lock the offices. We're also getting some indications from people in the building that there -- the search is going on not only in the garage area, but in other parts of the building, as well. It is daunting task for the Capitol Police.

As we try to report it, as we've been discussing for quite some time now, we need to keep our viewers with this alert in mind. We have nothing confirmed as yet. We are getting conflicting reports of exactly what happened. Police looking at different locations in the building. That often happens in an unfolding situation like this, where people report what they see. And you do get conflicting information.

But we do know from Capitol Hill Police, this began with one phone call from the Capitol Police dispatch at 10:30 this morning, reporting the sound of gunfire in the Rayburn office building. Now, they say they have not found any evidence of gunfire yet. They say they have no evidence of any injuries related to this. There is much speculation from members of Congress, their staff, some of the people on the scene, that perhaps there was some other loud noise.

But out of an abundance of caution, understandably so, the Capitol Police continue to scour that complex. And on the scene with them there, we see the ambulances on the scene. We know one woman was taken away. We have no information at all to suggest that is in any way connected. We are trying to get that. Remarkable team of people spread out around the facility.

But it is a very difficult -- very, very difficult investigation. And Daryn, as you were discussing with former Congressman Bob Barr earlier, this is a cavernous building. You have all of the floors above. You have the parking garage below. It is a facility -- that parking garage alone, that can hold 1,600 cars. So if police are going car to car, space to space, looking for any evidence of gunfire, you can understand why this might take some time.

KAGAN: Well, interesting contrast of images, too, as well, John. You know, we see SWAT team members. There are a different number of law enforcement agencies that are responding to this situation. You see them crawling all over this area and all over Capitol Hill.

At the same time, business went on. We saw still senators on the floor of the Senate. The House intel committee that we had video and sound of it being interrupted earlier as they went and closed the doors, the committee went on with their business until just a few minutes ago. And they're breaking up. But it looks like, perhaps, it's just time, because it would be the regular lunch break. They, of course, would not be allowed to leave the building, however, because it is in lockdown.

KING: And you see the picture of the committee now. I believe this is a live photograph...

KAGAN: It is?

KING: ... of the House Intelligence Committee. They've been told to stay in the room. They've obviously finished their hearing, and they did go ahead with it. And that is part of what we have seen, is the ebb and flow, if you will, of the sense of urgency about this. Initially, there were reports that the entire Capitol complex was locked down. Then it was clear that they were focusing simply on the Rayburn building. But then there were other reports that some -- at least the subway and the tunnel systems had been locked down.

So the comfort level, if you will, of the police department has seemed to ebb and flow a bit. Especially in the last hour or so, where you heard at one point, as they prepared for this news conference, it seemed -- Mike Brooks' information and other information -- that they thought they were nearing an end to this. But then the alert seemed to go up again, based on this report of a possible -- again, possible -- gunman in the vicinity of the one of the gyms in the Rayburn building.

So we're just trying to keep track of this and the information comes in conflicting. But you see these members of Congress here, many whom we know want to go home for the Memorial Day weekend. They are being told to stay in this committee room. Staffs are being told to stay in their offices. If you are in the Rayburn building, you're not going anywhere at the moment.

KAGAN: They are not. A couple -- a few more pieces of information, John. I've been able to get an e-mail, a copy of e-mail that has been sent to -- this is sent from the U.S. Capitol Police to senators and all Senate staff. Because we've been focusing so much on the House side, but this is what has been sent out to Senate staffers. It reads: "The U.S. Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the report of gunshots in the Rayburn House Office Building. The Rayburn building and garage all remain closed. The Longworth (ph) and Cannon (ph) building and garages remain open. The Capitol building remains open." So that was sent out to Senate staffers over there.

Also, you were mentioning, John, that we have a number of our own staffers that are spread across Capitol Hill. Our producer Deidre Walsh went to Capitol Hill this morning, thinking she was covering a news conference with Representative James Sensenbrenner. And, in fact, did do that with our CNN. The topic, immigration reform and the focus, how the Senate and House can come up with some kind of compromised legislation that would lead to immigration reform. But as that was happening, members of the media escorted out of there and taken to a different part of the building.

Let's go back to the phones and to Deidre Walsh. And Deidre, let's ask you. Where are you at this point?

DEIDRE WALSH, CNN PRODUCER: Daryn, I'm still outside with other reporters in the media area. The Capitol Police just moved the media area just one block over towards Independence Avenue. We're still outside the Rayburn building. Officers on the scene told us that, when these vehicles pulled up just a few minutes ago, fire -- two fire trucks, an ambulance and a bus -- that they were part of a follow-on response to the incident. That's all they could tell us about the vehicles that just arrived on the scene a few minutes ago.

I tell you, though, although this Rayburn building is closed, there continues to be regular traffic back and forth on Washington Street just outside the Rayburn building. Police are keeping the press area back from the building, but buses and passenger cars continue to drive by the Rayburn building.

KAGAN: Did they explain -- excuse me. Deidre, did they explain to you why they wanted the media to move?

WALSH: They did not. They just said there was a follow-on response unit arriving on the scene, they wanted to make more room for those vehicles. They're directly across the street from where I am standing. And they told us there will be an update in a matter of minutes from Sergeant Schneider (ph) from the Capitol Hill Police.

KAGAN: OK, and we'll be sure to have that live if that's happening. Explain to us again how once you were escorted out of the building, the police kind of turned the table and wanted to talk to you and other members of the media about what you saw and heard earlier today.

WALSH: That's right, Daryn. We were inside the basement of the Capitol shortly after the press conference with Chairman Sensenbrenner broke up. We followed the Capitol police officers responding to the incident, and we were outside the Rayburn garage, waiting for more information. Soon afterward, the Capitol Police escorted us through the garage outside and a member of the criminal investigation unit with the Capitol Police actually debriefed the press and asked us what we had seen, heard or smelled inside the Rayburn building.

KAGAN: And what were you able to tell them?

WALSH: We just reported that we had just heard that several Capitol police officers running quickly down the hallway. We did not hear any sounds of gunfire from where we were. We were on the first floor of the Rayburn building in the House Judiciary Committee hearing room.

So we didn't have a whole lot of official information to add to what we had already heard from the overhead page, which just directed staff in the Rayburn building there had been sounds of gunfire in the Rayburn garage, and directed staff to remain in their offices, which is they continue to do with the direct staff at this time.

KAGAN: All right. CNN producer Deidre Walsh, thank you for the latest from there. And we are getting word that the next briefing that we should get from Capitol Hill Police, just under an hour way, about 1:30. And, of course, you'll see that update live here on CNN as we continue to use our own producers and reporters to bring you the latest information as it unfolds there on Capitol Hill.

I want to go back to the phone right now. I'm joined by Congressman Bob Filner of California who -- he himself, locked in his office as this unfolds. Congressman, hello.

REP. BOB FILNER (D), CALIFORNIA (via phone): Good afternoon. I'd like to say I'm in a secure -- undisclosed secure location. And food is running out. Bring us lunch, quick.

KAGAN: You don't want some cranky Congress people, do you? Hungry. No, not good. How did this unfold for you? When did you first get word that there might be a problem?

FILNER: Well, we -- I was in my office for -- just for some normal meetings and paperwork. And the one thing that is -- at least has changed since 9/11 and for a couple years after that, we have a much better communication system. We have a squawk box, the staff calls it, that is a way to get verbal, in fact, announcements directly from the Capitol Police. Our e-mails and our Blackberrys are all now, you know, tuned into what's going on. So we have been kept up-to-date in a way which has not -- was not the case in previous situations like this.

KAGAN: Throughout this, everyone has been told to stay calm. Would you say that's the case?

FILNER: Oh, sure, yes. We're -- watching -- everything I know comes from CNN, actually. I'm watching it. We just did a -- got an e-mail saying that there was going to be a floor by floor, office by office, search. They gave us a secret code that the Capitol Police was going to use. It's not, you know, tell them Joe sent you, but it's similar. And so they're keeping us up-to-date very well. And that's an incredible change since...

KAGAN: Since 9/11.

FILNER: ... previous situations, yes.

KAGAN: This is -- is this the first lockdown you've been involved in since 9/11?

FILNER: I think so. Well, there was -- there were emergencies, like the plane that flew over the Hill, the Capitol, a couple years ago. But this is the first time I think I've been here when we've locked up. And I must say the communication is far better.

KAGAN: Congressman, I have to ask you, because, you know, you're from the district that;s right there along the California/Mexican border. This comes at a time when the focus, you would think today, would be on the compromise legislation that the House is trying to come together with the Senate.

FILNER: Right. Well, I suspect this will be resolved shortly and we'll go back to those issues. I do represent the entire Mexico- California border. We're very much concerned about whatever is coming out of, obviously, of the Congress. We want a comprehensive legislation somewhere along the lines of the Senate, but even there, there's some problems.

But I suspect, given what some of the -- who I call them Neanderthals in the House and the Republican side, we will not be able to get any bill that comes out. They'll just stop anything.

KAGAN: We'll hopefully find a Republican Congressman also holed up, so we can do equal time on that topic.

Did you have plans to go home to the district?

FILNER: Yes, we'll be heading out here I hope tomorrow or Sunday. Got to get back, you know. California happens to have a primary on June 6th, so that's very important to all of us.

KAGAN: Understandable.

How many staff members do you have there with you?

FILNER: There's about seven or eight here, that we're down to our last nachos and our last pizza combos, but we'll survive.

KAGAN: It sounds like you're still keeping a sense of humor about the situation?

FILNER: Yes, I hope it's resolved quickly. But again, I really have to compliment the Capitol Hill police on the communication. I was very critical of previous situations, but this one, I think they've got it down.

KAGAN: It's good to hear that they seem to be, work out some things in the system. And perhaps another time we'll get you on and talk about the nutritional aspect of what you're feeding your staff there, nachos and pizza, (INAUDIBLE), congressman.

FILNER: All right, thanks a lot.

KAGAN: All right, Congressman Bob Filner from Southern California. As you said, he represents the area along the California- Mexican border. He is there holed up in his office by orders of the Capitol Hill Police.

Let's go back to Dana Bash -- Dana.

BASH: Hey there, Daryn. I wanted to clear up. I said earlier that there were conflicting reports about whether the Capitol building itself, that they're looking at on the screen, was reopened, because it was closed off for a second time just a short while ago. And it is open. The Capitol building is open. That is where I'm sitting. I'm somewhere under the dome right there that you're looking at. Senators, staffers, tourists are now free to go in and out of the Capitol Building. So the only building that is under lockdown at this time is the Rayburn, Rayburn building, and the garage underneath the Rayburn building, which is where, allegedly, these shots were heard and that's where the investigation had started.

KAGAN: Or at least the sounds of what people thought might have been shots.

BASH: Right, exactly.

KAGAN: Just one anonymous caller into the dispatch center of Capitol Hill Police.

So, Daryn, let me ask you about the status of the Capitol building. Is this something that's the status is changing, or the information is sketchy?

BASH: Both, frankly. I think that this is -- I mean, you heard from the public information officer of the Capitol Police. She was not able to give a lot of information, you know, on the record, because they are getting information in very quickly, and it is information that is completely unconfirmed, that they're getting to go to investigate.

For example, what I reported a short while, that a senior law enforcement official said that there was a report of two women coming out of one of the gymnasiums inside the Rayburn building, saying that they saw a gunman inside there. Unconfirmed report, but perhaps that is why they, for a short while, changed the status of the security in the Capitol itself. But that has changed again and the Capitol is reopened.

Unclear what that says, if anything, about the investigation of that particular area, or anywhere else we just aren't aware of at this time.

KAGAN: Dana, thank you.

John King, back to you.

KING: Well, Daryn, when you were talking with Congressman Filner, he mentioned they had received notice that they were going to have an office-to-office search. In the past 15 minutes, I've received e-mails from two Congressmen aides in the Rayburn building, one whose office is on the third floor, another whose office is on the second floor.

Let me give you the description one of those aides gave me of what happened. They say the Capitol police have come and conducted the searches of their office, and they're going door to door down the hallway. One of the aides described it this way. They knocked on the door, entered with several armed offices. They around and told us to sit tight. They did not provide us with any additional information. They reminded us to lock the door. So a methodical search, as we've gone on in mentioning.

Again, there are 69 office suites for members of Congress in the Rayburn office building. There also are an additional number of committee rooms, some other obviously janitorial rooms, other rooms you would have in any office building. And we are now getting descriptions from people in the building that we talked earlier, that the investigation was focused in that three-level underground garage. We now know they are going, as the congressman noted and as these sources have told us, office to office to office looking --Daryn.

KAGAN: All right, John, thank you.

On the phone with me right now, I have John Tomszewski, the communications director for Curt Weldon.

John, thank you.


KAGAN: I'm good. I understand the office that you're in was just searched?


KAGAN: And what can you tell us what that search was?

TOMSZEWSKI: It was very simple. They knocked on the door. We let them in. They looked around really quick, just reminded us to lock the door, sit tight, and went along to the offices down the hallway.

KAGAN: When did you first get word something was up?

TOMSZEWSKI: Oh, jeez, maybe quarter to 11:00 this morning, and we received it over the enunciator.

KAGAN: And is your Congressman there, too, or is out of town?

TOMSZEWSKI: He's not. The congressman went back to Pennsylvania after votes last night.

KAGAN: So how many staffers do you have in the officer there with you.

TOMSZEWSKI: Maybe six, about six of us.

KAGAN: And how would you compare this situation? Have you been in any previous lockdown situations?

TOMSZEWSKI: Not lockdowns. Usually -- the only situations we have been in, or I've been in particularly, were ones where maybe, you know, an airplane violated the airspace or something like that, and we had to, you know, evacuate the building.

KAGAN: When the officers came in, did they give you any additional information, like about how much longer this might go on?

TOMSZEWSKI: No, they just told us to sit tight and keep the door locked, and we're doing it. We're you know, waiting for additional instructions patiently, and going about our work.

KAGAN: And watching CNN.

TOMSZEWSKI: And absolutely, watching CNN.

KAGAN: Get our little plug in there.

TOMSZEWSKI: You got it.

KAGAN: John, thank you. Well, sit tight and remain calm. John, thank you. Well, sit tight and remain calm. John Tomszewski, the communications director for Representative Curt Weldon, just describing for us what it was like, as John King was describing, and as we also from the previous Congressman, the officers are going by and doing an office-by-office search. And as we've been saying so much for the last couple of hours, this complex, this Rayburn office building, is absolutely huge and immense, and it's going to take some time to go door to door -- John.

KING: Daryn, we talked earlier about the reports of these two women who came out of the gym saying that they believed there was a gunman inside the gym. I initially told you where the members-only gym was, and as Dana Bash was quick to correct me, thank goodness she's in the building, there are two gyms. I want to tell you a little bit about that staffer gym and where it is. That is on level G2 of the Rayburn building, which would put it closer to the garage where these initial shots were heard. It was on level G2 of the Rayburn building, and it's a staff gym that was opened in early 2004. It's about 11,000 square feet. And when they opened it, they displaced a car wash that was in the garage, and about 20 parking spaces in the Rayburn garage.

So again, we are still following these sketchy reports, and we do not have any definitive information. But that gym, the staffer gym, certainly would be in closer proximity to the garage that was actually part of the garage complex underground, garage space taken to build that gym.

The initial report, again, as the Capitol police say, came in at 10:45 this morning of gunfire in that garage area.

So as we continue to try to get more information, we do know that even as they go office to office in the building, when the urgency seemed to return -- there had been a bit of a lull -- when the urgency seemed to return was when they had this report of the possibility of someone with a gun down in that gym area, so we are continuing to try to track that as well.

KAGAN: That next news conference from Capitol Hill police is expected to be in about 40 minutes. Of course you'll see that live here on CNN as our coverage continues.

But it was about a half-hour ago we had the last update, and the police gave us what they know, which did not appear to be much at the time, at least not much that they were releasing.

Let's go ahead and listen in to Sergeant Kimberly Schneider from Capitol Hill Police.


SGT. KIMBERLY SCHNEIDER, CAPITOL POLICE: I don't have any suspect information at this time. Our units are inside of the building, and we are responding to reports of shots fired inside the Rayburn garage at this time. We have several tactical units inside determining... QUESTION: Have your searches turned up anything so far?

SCHNEIDER:: Our searches have just turned up several staff members in the building. We haven't -- we have not gotten any reports of anybody being captured, anybody being arrested. We have not identified anybody who might have a weapon on them at this time. We continue to investigate.

QUESTION: Is anybody injured right now?

SCHNEIDER: We have no reports of any injuries at this time. The report is that shots were fired. The report has been gunfire, shots fired, a loud sound. Those are the reports we've been getting.


KAGAN: So that's the latest. Once again, we expect the next news conference with Capitol Hill Police to take place in about 40 minutes, something you'll see live here on CNN.

Meanwhile, a face familiar to CNN viewers, Professor John Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. Earlier, we were showing you this intel hearing that went on in the House, even though they were in lockdown, and that hearing has now broken up, and yet they have been told to stay. And John Turley is in that hearing, and I think able to talk with us.

John? Professor?


KAGAN: Tell us what it was like. Well, first of all, why is -- everyone is staying in the room because the hearing is over, but you've been told to stay put?

TURLEY: Well, we've been told that we cannot leave the room and it could be a matter of hours. This was sort of an ironic end to a hearing, where this was about whether journalists can speak freely about problems in the government, and at the end of the hearing, the chairman thanked all of us and then informed us we couldn't leave the room. But at this point, they're making an announcement actually.

KAGAN: OK. Let's listen.

TURLEY: Well, actually, it's more gallows humor. We have a large number of reporters and Congressmen in this room. So it's returning to the state of nature as they form into their respective gangs.

KAGAN: Do you think that's a safe situation to take journalists and Congressmen and lock them in a room and tell them they cannot leave?

TURLEY: Yes, I'm convinced this a sociology experiment, that a university is watching us right now to see who gets the cheese first.

KAGAN: Well, it is a sense of reality television since we do have the camera there trained on the room. We might want to ...

TURLEY: Well, if my wife is watching, send food.

KAGAN: Send food. Well, the problem is, no one is going out and, unless you're Capitol Hill Police, no one is coming in.

TURLEY: Well, people are actually famished here. You know, I have a little bit of gum in my briefcase and I think people are beginning to marshal their resources. But I think we'll just have to see who prevails in the survival of the fittest.

KAGAN: You know, well, a few minutes ago -- a few minutes ago. Now it's like a couple of hours ago, we were able to see video and listen to sound when they announced that something wasn't quite right.

TURLEY: Yes, it was actually bizarre.

KAGAN: What was that like?

TURLEY: Yes, I had just finished testifying when the alarms went off and we were informed that shots had been fired. They closed the doors. There were Capitol Hill Police that were stationed outside and they activated an alarm on the doors, so anyone going out would signal it. It was pretty extraordinary. I've testified a lot on the Hill, but I have to say this one will likely stand out.

KAGAN: I would imagine. So the hearing ended because they were done, but then they told you you're not allowed to leave.

TURLEY: Yes, they said thank you for your testimony, now you can't go. Everyone is remaining of good humor here. And we haven't had anyone, you know, creating shanks or anything or getting violent. So hopefully time will tell.

KAGAN: Have you been given any indication how long you'll have to stay there?

TURLEY: The chairman said that it could be hours, and we're certainly hoping that's not the case. And they're going office by office in Rayburn, which is a very big building, so I'm not too sure how long it will take. The Capitol Police is not willing to escort people to the door. They're taking it that seriously, as I suppose they must. So at the moment, we are here sort of frozen in amber.

KAGAN: Certainly not the way you planned on starting your Memorial Day weekend, I am sure.

TURLEY: No. I could say that is the understatement of a lifetime.

KAGAN: Well, stay in good humor. And my advice, don't bring out that pack of gum unless you have enough to share with the whole class.

TURLEY: Well, we've -- my family is renowned for staying in the gene pool and I'm going to do everything I can to survive this experience. KAGAN: OK, well, good luck to you and be nice to those Congressmen in there.

TURLEY: I'll try.

KAGAN: Professional Jon Turley, from George Washington University.

As you can see, whether it's a journalist or different Congresspeople we've been able to talk with or staffers, even though this could be what would be a very frustrating situation, people are staying calm and also staying in good humor.

Our Dana Bash is there on Capitol Hill and she has the latest information for us -- Dana. Do we have Dana?

BASH: Daryn, I'm sorry. Can you hear me now?

KAGAN: OK, yes, go ahead.

BASH: OK. You just heard Jonathan Turley report that they're hearing it could take awhile, yet another notice went out from the Capitol Hill Police to members and -- they're actually senators and Senate staff, once again saying that it could take several hours. It says the process could take several hours, the process of investigating, again, what is going on. So that is the warning that just went out.

But status is, in terms of what's open, what's not, it still remains that the Capitol building, which you're looking at right now, is open. Senators, their staffers, House members, their staff who are in -- and tourists who are in and out of the Capitol building can continue to go in and out of the Capitol building, and it's just the Rayburn building, which you're seeing right there and the garage underneath that remains closed. So that's the status of things right now.

One thing I wanted to say to you, you know, we were talking about the fact that there was a lull and then there was tense security once again at Rayburn and at the Capitol, boy, about an hour ago. And a senior law enforcement official said that they -- part of the reason is they got a report that two women in the gymnasium, in one of the gymnasiums inside the Rayburn building reported that they saw a gunman inside.

Well, I just got word from a senior congressional aide that perhaps those women were wrong, that that was a wrong that was wrong. However, again, this is moving very fast but that is the initial report that we're getting.

But the bottom line is when Capitol Police hear something like this, of course, they've got to go in and investigate, especially in a situation like this. So it's fast moving. We'll let you know as soon as we get information about those two women, about if there was really anything to do that. But regardless, if there was or wasn't, the fact that police were told to go in and were alerted of this potential problem inside the gym, that might have been the reason for the quick spike in security. And now, of course, the Capitol is open.

KAGAN: Dana Bash. Dana, thank you for that.

I want to go back to the topic of this House Intelligence Committee hearing that still went on. That is the hearing room were we were just talking to Professor Jon Turley of George Washington University. He was talking about the announcement that was made at the end of the hearing by Peter Hoekstra, who is heading that committee, and how he -- well, let's just go ahead and listen to how they wrapped up the meeting and then what people were told.


REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R-MI), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The hearing will be adjourned but we're not going anywhere.


KAGAN: And with that, everyone in the room told to just kind of sit tight. Jon Turley telling us that it could be possible that they'll be stuck in that room for hours as they wait for the site to be cleared.

This is going to wrap up my shift, but our coverage continues here at CNN.

John, I'm going to toss it back to you and I'm going to step out so that Kyra Phillips can get in this seat and start her shift.