WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) was among a group of Senators who reportedly heard the gunfire at the Capitol Thursday morning, according to a report in the New York Times.
The group heard about four to six shots, the Times reported.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio told the newspaper that he saw people drop to the ground. Capitol officers yelled at him, Merkley, Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Bernie Sanders to lie on the ground.
Other local lawmakers at the scene were sending messages to let their constituents, friends and family know they were not hurt in the incident.
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) sent out this tweet during the lockdown.
There are reports that shots were fired on Capitol Hill. All of my staff is safe and accounted for. We are on lockdown in my office.— Rep. Kurt Schrader (@RepSchrader) October 3, 2013
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) said she and her staff were in the office during the shooting. They were told to shelter in place from an overhead speaker and nobody was hurt.
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also tweeted that she and her staff were safe.
My staff and I are safe and sheltering in place. My thoughts are with capitol police and law enforcement working to protect the public - PM— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) October 3, 2013
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) sent out the following message: "Office locked down with everyone else. To friends and family, everyone accounted for and secure."
Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) had not yet released statements.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) thanked the police after the lockdown was lifted Thursday afternoon.
Thank you to the Capitol Police for their service & bravery today and every day. Prayers for those who are injured. My staff and I are safe.— Rep. Greg Walden (@repgregwalden) October 3, 2013
Rep. Jaime Herrera Buetler (R-Wash.) was not in D.C. Thursday, but she said all of her staff members were accounted for and safe.