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The U.S. House of Representatives had just finished the first series of votes in the House. Lawmakers were outside the Speaker's lobby, where there is a balcony that faces south.
Congressman Matthew Cartwright was having a quiet chat with a colleague, Rep. Jerry Connelly, sitting on the balcony outside when they heard the gun shots.
"We heard in quick succession, it sounded like seven or eight shots all in less than a second," said Cartwright.
To Cartwright, it sounded like they were coming from directly behind him, but it turned out to be the sound ricocheting off the nearby Rayburn House office building.
"We had probably in the space of 30 seconds, 15 or 20 Capitol policemen running towards the Rayburn building, running toward the danger, and what really comes home to me is that these are all people who are working without pay right now," said Cartwright.
Back on that balcony, after they heard the shots, Cartwright and his colleague stood up, walked to the edge of the balcony, looked out.
"A Capitol policeman with a machine gun looked up at us, and shouted for us to get inside the building because the House was going to be on lock down," said Cartwright.
The two congressmen shuffled into a little library near the Speaker's lobby.
Within minutes, it was over.
"A higher-up officer in the Capitol police informed us that the suspect was in custody," said Cartwright.