"The guards at this building guard our freedom, and we can never repay the
sacrifice made by these brave individuals. My thoughts and prayers are with
-- House Speaker Newt Gingrich
"Its a sad day in our nation's capital. My prayers are with the innocent
victims of this tragic incident and my heartfelt thanks go out to the brave men
and women on the police force who put their lives at risk today and every day
to protect the people's Capitol. It's a tragedy which could have been far, far
worse had it not been for the heroic efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police."
-- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
"I have no doubt that John saved the lives of many people today."
-- Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), expressing gratitude for U.S. Capitol police officer John Gibson who routinely guarded the door to DeLay's office.
"Hillary and I were deeply disturbed to hear of the shootings this afternoon at the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of the slain officers, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson, as well as to the injured victim and her family. The Capitol is the people's house, a place where visitors and workers should not have to fear violence. Every American appreciates the bravery of the Capitol Police who prevented further injury through their courageous actions."
-- President Bill Clinton
"I was shocked to hear of today's tragic shooting in the Capitol. First
and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of
the two police officers who lost their lives, and the visitor who was seriously
Every day the Capitol police put their lives on the line to protect the
people who visit and work in the Capitol. They do a superb job. Their courage
and professionalism today likely saved many lives."
-- Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle
"It was an individual who was determined to blast his way into the Capitol."
"I want to commend the Capitol police, the metropolitan police and the medical rescue squad. You folks saw a crew of professionals in operation. What occurred was tragic -- the loss of life that occurred. But those that lost their lives were those who understood that in the line of duty that was the risk. Hundreds of tourists and dozens of staffers were protected by the Capitol police and I just want to compliment all of the professional who carried out -- in a very difficult context -- their jobs very well."
"The worst thing we could do is cower in fear and shut down the people's Capitol ... We will not shut down the Capitol."
-- Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.)
"These officers died bravely while performing their duty to protect the
nation's Capitol and the millions of people who visit it each year."
-- Sgt. Dan Nichols, spokesman for the Capitol Police
"As a former member of the House and Senate, and now as the President of the Senate, I have long admired the dedication and professionalism of the fine men and women of the United States Capitol Police. Tipper and I were saddened to hear the news today that two members of the police force made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Our hearts go out to the families of these two American heroes."
-- Vice President Al Gore
"We've got to look at security, improve it, but we must not overreact so that the people's house is no longer that; so that we are barricaded. We must not have the Pennsylvania Avenue reaction, close down Pennsylvania Avenue, its been a terrible inconvenience to all concerned ... We do not want to make the people's house a fortress."
"The program that was intended to introduce these children to the Capitol instead exposed them to violence." (referring to a tour she was giving to young children at the time of the shooting)
-- Rep.Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)
"It was like, boom boom boom. And my husband, just grabbed me and said that's gunshots, we gotta get out of here."
-- Female Witness, who was touring the Capitol Hill.
"I looked out the window and saw a police officer with a gun drawn
kneeling behind a car and I think at that moment it hit me very hard that this
was something very serious."
-- Brad Davis, witness
"This is a price we pay for democracy. Security is more than adequate."
-- Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.)