CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Congressman Ney, Larson Hold Press Conference
Aired October 30, 2003 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm being told there's a news conference now. You may want to listen to this also. Let's take it live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
REP. BOB NEY (R), OHIO: ... a very orderly evacuation, and very thorough search office by office at that point and afterwards.
QUESTION: Are people being searched as they leave or before they leave?
NEY: Yes, yes, everybody, unless it's a member.
REP. JOHN LARSON (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, but it's floor by floor so that they can do it orderly.
QUESTION: Did the man say or do anything that was odd, other than what...
LARSON: The officer reported he was acting somewhat strange, and she could tell when he was fiddling around when he had to take out his...
NEY: Cell phone.
LARSON: Cell phone. But then all of a sudden, he bolted when he saw -- apparently, knew he was going to be detected or apprehended and grabbed his knapsack and ran.
QUESTION: What was he holding...
LARSON: It was on the belt.
QUESTION: But there was an image of some kind of a device.
NEY: Yes, there was an image of a resolver.
Again, I want to stress this could be a toy gun it could be real. We have to assume the precaution of a real weapon.
QUESTION: What was the age...
LARSON: The officer said between 20 to 23 years old.
QUESTION: How many officers were manning the post?
NEY: We don't believe so.
LARSON: I think the customary number were manning it. But she said it was very crowded there, because were a lot of people that were coming through, but off the top of my head, I don't know exactly how many there was.
QUESTION: Is there a police presence around the building, this building right now, at various entrances?
LARSON: There's always a police presence.
QUESTION: More than usual?
NEY: Oh, yes, more than usual.
QUESTION: ... specific area. Have you cornered him?
LARSON: We do not know where he is at this time. They're doing a systematic floor-by-floor search and evacuation at the same time of the building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of scenarios we can speculate on, which we don't want to. But I will tell you, and we both can reaffirm this. They are, I believe, the sergeant of arms and police are doing the right systematic approach to this thing in the best way for the safety and protection of the staff and the public of the U.S. House.
NEY: Again, I don't want to speculate -- where -- they took immediate precautions. I will also tell you they're taking secondary precautions in the other buildings. I don't want to go further than that.
QUESTION: How many members of Congress are in the building?
NEY: I don't know.
QUESTION: Is there video of this guy?
NEY: We have certain security procedures here in the House to, you know, ensure as much as we can the safety and security of the House.
I would highly doubt that.
But we're take a secondary precaution, again, of limited access to the Capitol. It would have been very difficult for this individual to have then run through a second detector -- we would have known that -- into the Capitol.
NEY: Well, we have 10,500-some staff divided among three buildings. That's probably about 3,000 each, plus visitors.
I mean, there's probably, I don't know the exact number, probably about 100-some members here.
QUESTION: ... looking for any kind of assistance from Washington P.D. or anything like that...
LARSON: It's a Capitol Hill matter. They've got the matter fairly well in control.
I mean, they are going through a systemic at search now and we're very prompt in their response, and that's about all we have to say.
Yes, they are --
NEY: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Well, if you're just tuning in, a live picture from the Hill, with regard to this situation that's taking place at the Cannon House office building, a man believed to be on the loose with a gun. That was -Congressman John Larson from Connecticut and Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio, both on the House Administration Committee. That committee overseeing security for the buildings there on the Hill, briefing reporters.
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