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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Capitol Building Locked Down After Report of Possible Gunshots

Aired May 26, 2006 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Live picture from Capitol Hill. We're watching as now the lobbying that goes back and forth between the House and Senate. The Senate, as you know, has passed its version of the immigration reform bill. Now there must be a compromise with the House. We're watching as those talks and negotiations go on.
They risk their lives to come here. Illegal immigrants are turned back many times a day. Turns out, though, some of them could stay and they just don't know it.

CNN's Rick Sanchez has the story he prepared for "ANDERSON COOPER 360."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wilfredo Garza has been sneaking across the Rio Grande for most of his 35 years.

"That's where I cross," he shows us, as he explains how he would change into dry clothes that he'd carried over his head.

Wilfredo and his brother Jose say that Border Patrol here in Brownsville, Texas, has been cracking down. That's why the Garza brothers bought a small ramshackle house on the U.S. side. So they wouldn't have to keep crossing back and forth.

Here for 15 years they've eked out a living on odd jobs like fixing cars, while constantly looking over their shoulder.

Four times Wilfredo's been caught by Border Patrol. He explains to us how Border Patrol pulled him down from the fence. Each time he was caught, he was bused back to Mexico. And each time he swam back across the river. The cycle would have continued except Wilfredo met Jaime Diez, an immigration lawyer.

JAIME DIEZ, IMMIGRATION LAWYER: People walk into my office all the time. Probably 80 percent of them I have to turn away.

SANCHEZ: But with Wilfredo Garza, it was a different story.

(on camera): You had good news for him?

DIEZ: I have good news for him, good news for his brother.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Jaime told Wilfredo that because his father was born and worked in Texas, that meant Wilfredo was actually a U.S. citizen. (on camera): Were you surprised?

DIEZ: Completely surprised.

SANCHEZ: Attorney Jaime Diez says each week at least three to four people like Wilfredo, walk into his office, not knowing they're actually U.S. citizens.

Unlike many of them, Wilfredo had the papers to prove it -- his father's birth certificate and work records. With that in hand, his attorney was able to give Wilfredo what he never thought he'd have -- certificate of citizenship.

(on camera): You feel good?

(voice-over): The news is just sinking in for him. And the changes it will bring.

(on camera): So you no longer have to get wet when you go into Mexico or come back? Never.

Wilfredo already has his first job lined up. Starts next week as a mate on a shrimp boat. As we pass the U.S. flag, I ask him what he's thinking. "I can't believe," he responds, "I'm actually an American."

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Brownsville, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: Nice story, Rick. That smile on that man's face translates the whole saga. Anderson Cooper has more stories from the border. Watch "A.C. 360" weeknights at 10:00 Eastern.

Fake Social Security numbers. It's a common front. A place where the battle against illegal immigration and the war on terror meet. CNN's Kitty Pilgrim has this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The illegal immigration debate is not just about guest workers. It's about national security.

In 2002, Social Security inspector general James Huse testified the 9/11 hijackers used five counterfeit Social Security numbers. He said, "It is becoming more and more apparent that those connected with terrorism will at some point obtain Social Security numbers. They may buy them, they may create them, or they may obtain them from the Social Security Administration directly through the use of falsified immigration records."

His suggestion, private business and government agencies should cooperate and cross-check the numbers to stop Social Security fraud.

JAMES HUSE, FMR. INSPECTOR GENERAL, SSA: This is the most common sense way and readily available way to bring back some integrity into the Social Security number, without a lot of new bureaucracy.

PILGRIM: Yet, more than four years after September 11th, government agencies like the IRS have not prosecuted a single business that filed false Social Security numbers.

JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY: In order to make it much more difficult for terrorists to get false IDs, you're also going to be making it much more difficult for undocumented workers and other people to get false IDs. And that's going to force you to confront the challenge of coming up with a consistent rational policy.

PILGRIM: National security is at risk. For example, the Social Security Administration lists a California security guard company in the top 100 worst offenders of Social Security irregularities. The company filed 4,321 Social Security numbers that did not match names of employees.

A 2004 report to the Congressional Research Service quotes the 9/11 Commission. "According to the commission, up to 15 of the hijackers could have been intercepted or deported through more diligent enforcement of immigration laws."

Kitty Pilgrim, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: For reports like those and Lou Dobbs' take on immigration reform, you can tune in to "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" at 6:00 Eastern on CNN, the most trusted name in news.

Dialing for Dorothy? One lady has had enough of "American Idol" fans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's my phone number. Has been since May of 1957, and I'm not changing. They can change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: That's Dorothy from Ohio, and as you can tell, she is not an "American Idol" fan. Her story of her phone number and the mix-up, when CNN LIVE TODAY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: Well, a lot of people say they're looking for purpose in their life. Now, the story of a man who says he's found it. And if you told him a few years ago what he would be doing today, he would have told you, you are crazy. Meet Baton Bob.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew it was him.

KAGAN: Him is Bob Jameson, and, yes, you are seeing right, he's a 54-year-old man dressed in drag marching up and down the streets of midtown Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Bob.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, guys.

KAGAN: Jameson is a floral designer by trade, but three times a week, he becomes the character Baton Bob.

(on camera): Why do you do this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The basic premise of why I do this is basically to lift peoples' spirits and put a smile on their face in the middle of the day in the drudgery of their life.

KAGAN: Let's just talk for a minute here, you and me, Bob. Some people see you on the streets and they think you are crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, absolutely. And that's where the process of education has to come in, to educate the public about what this is all about.

KAGAN (voice-over): So Baton Bob's class is in session. The story goes back to right after 9/11. Bob Jameson was a flight attendant, laid off and depressed. A therapist told him to do something that brought him joy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A month after 9/11, I remembered that. I went back in my closet and pulled this baton I hadn't twirled in 20- some odd years, and I took my baton and exercise gear to go into that park to literally twirl my own spirit out of depression.

KAGAN (on camera): So that's one thing to do it for yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, first.

KAGAN: It's another to create all this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just looking around at everybody's temperament after 9/11, and we're still so down and out and distraught, and I kept saying to myself, what else can I do to make a difference in this mindset?

KAGAN (voice-over): His answer...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my goodness, look.

KAGAN: Costumes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't you see that?

KAGAN: Lots of glitter and flash. And a move back to Atlanta, the first big city he lived in. The character, as he calls himself now, makes regular appearances, especially during lunchtime. His sole aim to make people smile. (on camera): So you don't care if people laughing with you or at you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It does not matter.

KAGAN: It doesn't hurt your feelings if people are laughing at you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. Those that get it, get it. Those that don't, won't.

KAGAN (voice-over): There are the dos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes us happy. We love him. We think he's great. He brightens up the whole neighborhood. It's wonderful.

KAGAN: And there are the don'ts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I give him credit for the red hair, whatever it is. I think he's interesting.

KAGAN: But the don'ts don't bother...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: All right. We'll get back to the Baton Bob at another time. But right now, we do have breaking news here at CNN. We're getting word of a lockdown situation on Capitol Hill. Our Dana Bash standing by with more on that -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, all we know at this point is that there are reports that there were shots fired in the Rayburn House office building on the Capitol complex, and that they have locked down the entire Capitol complex. In fact, i tried to get outside to go to the scene and the Capitol police would not let me go. So at this point, that's all we know -- locked down, shots fired, don't know anything else.

KAGAN: OK, for folks not as familiar of Capitol Hill as you are, give us a little geography lesson here of the layout. All we're seeing right now live is the dome.

BASH: Absolutely. So if you look at the dome, there are three office buildings for each side, for the House side and the Senate side. The Rayburn office building on the House side of the Capitol.

And we have reports, and I talked to several police officers around this building, that there were shots fired in and around the Rayburn House building.

Again, unclear where this came from, if anybody's been hurt. All we know is that they have locked down all of the office buildings and told everybody to go back to their offices.

KAGAN: So, we are talking about one of three office buildings there on Capitol Hill. But, all three office buildings and the Capitol, everything...

BASH: The entire -- correct. My understanding is that the complex is locked down. I do not know whether or not the other ancillary office buildings have been closed down in addition to the actual Rayburn building. I'm currently in the capital. I'm looking at a picture right now, so not far from that dome. The actual Capitol building has been closed off. They were not permitted -- they didn't permit me to go outside. They're not permitting anybody to go outside. They are simply saying that it is locked down. Currently we know the Rayburn office building is as well. I don't know if the other office buildings are at this time, but they're running around at breakneck speed, as you can imagine, trying to figure out exactly what is going on, what happened with these shots fired.

But certainly I can tell you that the police officers that I talked to, there was no question that that was the report, that shots were fired in and around the Rayburn House office building -- Daryn.

KAGAN: You are not in that building right now?

BASH: Correct. I'm in the Capitol building. I'm in the building that you're looking at on the screen. That's exactly where I'm at right now. Again, the Rayburn building is a separate building, but they're all connected by...

KAGAN: The tunnels underneath.

BASH: The tunnels underneath. There are tunnels underneath that connect all of these buildings. So people are able to -- even if you don't go outside, people are able to get in and around the complex underneath. There are trams that take people, take tourists, take members, take their staff, take all of us from the Capitol both to the Senate office buildings and the House office buildings. Again, the Rayburn building is one of the House office buildings. It's where members of the House of Representatives have their offices.

KAGAN: So if you were trying -- if Capitol police were trying to chase somebody and find somebody, it would be like kind of going through a maze, because there's no end of places you could go?

BASH: It could be. And again, it's unclear whether or not this happened actually inside the building, whether it happened outside the building. Don't have the details. But you're right, it is a big complex. And I don't to want jump to too many conclusions right now, because I don't want to suggest that there's any kind of chase going on. Because we really, really know just rudimentary details, which is that there are reports of shots being fired. But if that would be the case, it would certainly have a ways to go, but there are a lot of police officers that are always stationed at this complex, a lot of them. So it's certainly very well secured by the Capitol Police.

KAGAN: I want to go ahead and welcome in our viewers. We've joined by CNN International. So viewers watching this around the world very concerned and interested about what's happening the U.S. Capitol right now. We know very little information, but we do have our Capitol Hill correspondent Dana Bash there. And, Dana, if we could just start at the beginning of what I know is not a lot of information at the time.

BASH: I'm sorry, Daryn, I was just listening to a report coming in from our producer Carol Cratty (ph), who is saying that the Capitol Police spokeswoman is reporting that -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Can you stand by one second. I'm getting a little bit more information.

KAGAN: OK.

BASH: What we know right now is that Capitol police are reporting that they are actually investigating a report of gunfire in the garage of the Rayburn building. So in the garage of the Rayburn building is where this allegedly took place, that is where they're looking into this. This is an official report from the Capitol Police. So it is limited to the garage of that one particular House office building, the Rayburn building.

KAGAN: So the reports of gunfire would have been in the garage, but as you're saying, the entire Capitol, three office buildings, and the buildings underneath the dome that we're looking at, they're all on lockdown at this time.

BASH: That is my understanding. People have been -- staff, members of Congress, reporters, have been told to go back to their offices. I saw some tourists. This is high tourist season. They were in the Capitol itself, and they were told to stay inside the building. So at this everybody who -- was basically told to stay where they were or go back to -- if they're tourists, if not, go back to their offices.

KAGAN: Who would park in the garage at the Rayburn building? What kind of staff and personnel?

BASH: It's staff. Lots of -- any of the Capitol staff can -- and the House staff, I should say, are able to get parking permits to go into the Rayburn building. And the press corps, as well. But you do have to have a permit to go into the Rayburn office building because of -- the Rayburn garage, I should say, because of what you and I were just talking about. Because everything really is connected.

When you drive into the Rayburn garage, Daryn, there are Capitol police there. They check your I.D., they check your car. They check -- they do security checks when you try to get into that garage. So, presumably, anybody coming in there would be checked.

KAGAN: OK, Dana, I'm going to let you go for just a minute and see if you can go gather some more information.

Meanwhile, our John King is with us, as well, joining us from the Washington, D.C. bureau. John, what can you tell us?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, we know that the D.C. Police Department says it has received no information at all about this yet. And as Dana was just explaining to you, the Capitol Police now investigating reports of gunfire in the garage of the Rayburn office building. Let's try to go through a little bit of the geography for any of our viewers who might not be familiar with Washington. The Capitol, of course, sits in the center of Capitol Hill. On one side, the Independence Avenue side, is the House side, and that is where the Rayburn and two other House office buildings. The run literally right up Capitol Hill. The Rayburn office building, named, of course, for the legendary House speaker, Sam Rayburn of Texas.

And as you were discussing with Dana, in the garage beneath it, anyone working on the House side can park in there. When you drive into that building, as Dana was noting, they not only check your I.D., they have mirrors, so they can look underneath your car to see if there's anything attached. The security on Capitol Hill has been dramatically increased post-9/11, as it has been, of course, across the country, but especially here in Washington.

You're looking at a diagram there of the House complex. And this is a standard protocol when you have an incident like this, even though we are being told, at least initially -- and remember often, initial reports can be conflicting and turn out to be wrong -- but we are told the investigation is centered on the garage of the Rayburn office building.

It is normal protocol to lock down the Capitol complex, much as when you see suspicious packages or suspicious activity at the White House complex. That is a security protocol, that they would simply lock down everything so that they can investigate, and so if someone is -- is -- and again, this is speculating a bit -- but if someone is trying to flee the scene, it's easier to isolate that person if everyone has been told to go back to their offices and essentially stay still -- Daryn.

KAGAN: OK. John, we'll be to you in just a minute. Right now on the phone with us we have Deidre Walsh, one of our CNN producers. I understand, Deidre, you are in the basement of the Rayburn building?

DEIDRE WALSH, CNN PRODUCER: I am. I'm here with several camera crews and reporters who were covering press conferences with judiciary chairmen (INAUDIBLE) Sensenbrenner on the immigration bill. Soon after the press conference wrapped up, we saw several Capitol Hill police officers running quickly down the hallway in Rayburn. We followed them and got in an elevator to the basement.

Just a few minutes ago, the Capitol police recorded an overhead page to all staff at the Rayburn building, saying that the Capitol Police are investigating sounds of gunfire in the Rayburn garage, and directed staff to remain in their offices until further advised. We have not received any further updates yet from the Capitol Police, but they have sealed off the Rayburn garage. And from our vantage point, we can't really see anything that's going on inside the garage.

KAGAN: And explain -- yes. Explain the basement versus the garage, in terms of geography for us, Deidre.

WALSH: Well, the entrances to the Rayburn garage are on three separate levels of the Rayburn House Office Building. And I'm -- it's unclear which level this gunfire shots were heard. But we're on the third level of garages, which is actually the top floor. And then there are two floors below it. I'm told by staff that there is a firing range that Capitol Police have somewhere in the Rayburn basement, but I'm unclear on where the location of that range is.

KAGAN: OK. So you're -- you and our crew and a number of other member of the media told to stay put. You're in lock down, as well?

WALSH: Correct, Daryn.

KAGAN: OK. John, are you still with us? John King?

KING: Yes, I am, Daryn.

KAGAN: Let's Talk about a couple things here. First of all, if we could put that map back up that we were getting a feel of what this area looks like. The yellow building or the yellow complex that's highlighted, that's the Rayburn building. And the reports saying shots fired in the garage, which would be underneath?

KING: That's right. The garage is underneath. You have to -- if you could imagine this -- you're literally on Capitol Hill. So as you come from just south of the Rayburn building, there's the botanical garden is there, you're going up a fairly steep hill and the garage is into the Hill behind that.

And if we can see the screen, I think can get a bit closer it. This is Independence Avenue coming up, and it's a fairly -- it starts to steepen, the hill, as you go up. And the garage is underground here. The entrance to the garage is on the backside here, and it goes underneath the building. So if they've locked that down, they've locked down the whole complex.

But this building itself is of the three House office buildings. As you can see from graphic, it's by far the largest of the House office buildings. And Daryn, a little bit more information we're getting here. There was a hearing going on -- the House Intelligence Committee had a hearing. And the chairman, Pete Hoekstra, interrupted a witness in mid-sentence to request those attending the meeting remain in the room, and said the doors had to be closed. So obviously, activity at the Capitol now brought to a close as they investigate this.

And we should emphasize, as Deidre Walsh was just saying, they're investigating sounds of gunfire. We have no official confirmation as yet that there was any gunfire in that garage. But the sound of gunfire is being investigated. And I understand Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill, perhaps with some more information -- Dana.

KAGAN: We're going to get to Dana in just a moment, John. We have Mike Brooks on the phone, former Capitol Hill police officer. Mike, you've been able to talk to some of your sources within that police department?

MIKE BROOKS, LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERT: Yes, I have, Daryn. In fact, I'm in Washington, D.C. this week. And I was former with the Metropolitan Police Department and worked very closely with U.S. Capitol Police. And speaking to one of my sources there, they said, just as John just said, they are looking into the sound of gunshots. They have no victims at this time, and they have no active shooter. No description that they're looking for. So they're just investigating the sound of gunshots.

Keep in mind, you know, there is a range in that building. There could be accidental discharge, those kinds of things. But they have -- Capitol Police with an excellent team. It's called the CERC team. That's the Containment and Emergency Response Team. They are responding there. They will contain the area, search that area and find out whether or not there are any victims or not. But right now, it's just the sound of gunshots.

KAGAN: OK, well, if you have the sound of gun fire, as you say, there is a firing range close by there. Also, in a big parking garage like that, and the way it echoes, that could be even a car backfiring, don't you think?

BROOKS: It could. But you know, there's a distinct sound. Having heard the sound of gunshots many times myself, people who have heard it will know what the sound of gunshots sound like. And -- but right now, that's all it is. It's the sound of gunshots. As I said, there are no victims, and there are -- there is no active shooter. And they have no description of anyone they're looking for. So they're just checking this out. They'll go ahead and lock that building down, lock that garage down, do a level by level search to make sure that there are no victims and there is no active shooter.

KAGAN: Well, when you look at that kind of protocol and you look just how extensive the whole Capitol complex is, this could take hours.

BROOKS: It could. It could take some time. But Capitol police, they know those buildings better than anyone else. And the CERC team, they're one of the top special weapons teams in this area. They'll go ahead, lock it down, and I guarantee you, they'll have anything under control there if there was not -- if they can't find any victims, they'll have everything under control in fairly short order. But it will take some time -- Daryn.

All right, Mike, back to you in a moment. Now let's back to Dana Bash, who is there on Capitol, locked down with a lot of other people. Dana?

BASH: Hi there, Daryn.

Well, I just wanted to point out one thing, which is, you know, now our viewers are a lot more familiar with the geography of the Capitol complex. We know that this -- these reports of the sound of gunfire came from the House office building, Rayburn. On the Senate side, I'm getting some e-mails from staff in the Senate office buildings and they say that there is actually nothing unusual. There's no lockdown there, if you will, that they see nothing unusual in terms of extraordinary police presence there. And I think that we have another picture of the floor of the United States Senate. You see Democratic Congressman Max Baucus. He is actually on the Senate floor. So on the Senate side, at least in terms of the legislative business, things are going on as usual. That is -- there's actually business taking place on the floor of the United States Senate. So we in the Capitol have been told that we can't leave, but certainly the business is taking -- is going on here.

And again, on the Senate side, the Senate side and those office buildings, seems to be business as usual. And I should point out that we are getting reports that -- from the Capitol Police that, again, these are just the sounds of gun fire, and they're still trying to investigate whether or not perhaps there was any -- anything behind that, and at this point, they have found nothing to indicate there was actually a gunman or anything of the sort. So they're certainly investigating that.

KAGAN: And as we are having other people point out at the same time that there is a firing range very close by to where this sound would have been heard.

BASH: That's exactly right. There's a firing range close by. And as I believe you mentioned, it is a parking garage. And, you know, sometimes a car which sounds funny could make the sound of gunfire. So that is why they have just taken every precaution, as they are known to do on the Capitol complex, and they're investigating it this time.

KAGAN: John King, let's bring you back in and talk about what Dana was pointing out, that she's getting very different reports from the Senate side, that -- obviously, there's senators on the floor of the Senate right now, and word from other people in Senate offices that it's business as usual for them. They don't see an unusual law enforcement presence.

KING: Obviously, they have decided to focus this investigation on the House side. The fact that they have not gone on a full alert, if you will, across the complex, would lead you to believe that even if they don't know quite what it is they're investigating yet, they believe they at least have it isolated.

One would assume if they thought they had someone running around the Capitol complex with a gun, they would have gone to more extensive security measures. So, as we try to get more information, that is one assumption you make, just from the simple fact that they're allowing things to keep going on -- Daryn.

KAGAN: All right, John, thank you. We are at the top of the hour. I'm Daryn Kagan in Atlanta.

Want to get to our breaking news story we're following here. We're following it here in the U.S., and I also want to go ahead and welcome our viewers that are watching us all around the world.

A picture there, a live picture for you there of the U.S. Capitol. A situation going on where the sound gunfire was heard in the garage of the Rayburn building, and that is one of the office buildings, one of three office buildings on Capitol Hill.

Now, at this point, we're just hearing it was the sound of gunfire. No evidence of any victims or any gunmen, but they are taking extreme caution to make sure that there's nothing untoward happening there on Capitol Hill.

We have our Dana Bash, who is actually in -- on Capitol Hill as well, and much of the complex has been put on lockdown -- Dana.

BASH: I just actually want to -- want to clarify that, which is -- and I think that's an interesting point as to -- as to where this report is right now.

As we've been talking about, there are three office buildings, as you see on the screen. The Rayburn Office Building is one of the three on the House side. I just got an e-mail from a House staffer who says that she just parked her car in the garage of the Longworth building and took the elevator up and was able to get right in, and says that it's business as usual there.

So it seems as though at this -- at this point the investigation is isolated to that one Rayburn building, and, of course, the United States Capitol. Again, I am in the actual Capitol building itself, and I tried to get out a short while ago to try to investigate what's going on at Rayburn, and the police would not let me go out, and several of them said, "Get back to your office."

So at this point it seems to be limited to the Capitol building and the Rayburn building itself. The Senate is still in session. Senator Robert C. Byrd is on the Senate floor at this point. We do know that there are members of the House of Representatives who were holding a hearing who are still -- who stopped the hearing, who are still in that hearing room in the actual Rayburn building.

One other thing that I should point out is that the reports of the sound of gunfire -- and again, we should keep pointing out it was just a report of the sound of gunfire -- came from the G 3 level, so a bottom level of that Rayburn building parking garage. The parking garage that goes underneath the Rayburn House Office Building -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Touching on a point here that you're making, Dana, this is the eve of a big holiday weekend for us here in the states, a three-day Memorial Day Weekend. What kind of staffing level? It seems like most members of Congress are still in town?

BASH: A lot of members are still in town, but I can tell you that they are -- that they are heading out. The Senate is finishing its business, really finished two major votes this morning on two nominees in the Senate.

The House of Representatives is on its way out, is leaving for the Memorial Day break. And that is a good point, that on any given Friday you don't find a lot of people around here, but particularly on a Friday that begins a week-long recess, there is certainly -- the Capitol complex is not anywhere near as crowded with members of Congress and their staff as it normally would be

KAGAN: But tourists, this is the start of a big tourist season.

BASH: Huge. Huge start of the tourist season. And I can tell you just from this morning there are plenty of tourists around.

And as I told you, as I was told not to leave the building and I was coming up, I saw tourists being told the same thing, at this point, don't leave the building. And I can just -- let me just read to you one thing that I just got on my e-mail.

This is a message that went out from the U.S. Capitol Police, and it says -- and the subject is, "An Emergency Exists for the Rayburn House Office Building". And it has a list of five -- five pieces of instructions, and I'll just read it very quickly.

KAGAN: Go ahead.

BASH: It says, "If you are in the Rayburn House Office Building, then shelter in place," it says. "Quickly move into the nearest interior office space or interior hallway and away from windows. The Capitol Police are investigating reports of gunfire in the Rayburn Office Building."

The second thing is, it says, "If nearby, grab go-kits and personal belongings, close the doors behind you, do not lock, remain calm, and await further instructions. But do not leave the building."

And this is something that was sent out to members and staff from the Capitol Police in the -- for people in the actual Rayburn building. And, of course, it was in the garage of that building, as we've been saying, that there were reports of the sound of gunfire.

KAGAN: What do they mean by go-kits, Dana?

BASH: I'm not -- to be honest with you, I'm not exactly sure what -- what's in these go-kits, but I can tell you that after 9/11, Daryn, they -- just like all over Washington, really all over America, unfortunately -- they really stepped up procedures, security procedures. And especially here on Capitol Hill, they gave members of Congress -- members of Congress, first of all, all got BlackBerrys, and their stuff got strict instructions and actual kits -- and again, I'm not exactly sure what's in them -- that they would need in order to -- if they had to evacuate the building.

KAGAN: OK. And it also sounds from that e-mail that they -- as this goes on that they're shrinking the size of the area that they're really focusing on. As it just says, the Rayburn building.

BASH: It seems that way. This is what -- this is what the -- this is what the actual message from the Capitol Police is focusing on, is focusing just on the Rayburn building, which is the actual place where these reports of gunfire came from.

KAGAN: And as we look at the screen -- and Dana, I don't know if you're around a television set, but I'll explain for our viewers here in the U.S. and across the world, all around the world, you're seeing a map of what -- the Capitol Hill complex, what the office buildings look like. The building you see in yellow, that's the Rayburn building. That's what they're focusing on.

A long-shot picture of the Capitol dome, and then on the bottom right of your screen, that's Senator Byrd. This is -- and why that's significant is because that's on the Senate side, and as Dana and John King have been reporting, the Senate is still very much in business.

Let's go to our justice correspondent. Kelli Arena is on the phone.

Kelli, what have you been able to learn about the situation on Capitol Hill?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, not much more than what you've heard from Dana. I spoke to a law enforcement official who was on the scene who said that, you k now, calls came in over their two-ways, that there were gunshots heard from the parking level in the basement of the Rayburn building.

As Dana said, that building is partially evacuated, partial lockdown. That is standard procedure, I am told, for people who are in place to stay in their offices.

Obviously, if this were, you know, a bomb threat or something like that, very different procedures would be, you know, in place. But right now, because they sounded like gunshots, you know, the issue is to try to keep everybody where they are and safe. You don't want people running through the halls if there's somebody, you know, with a weapon.

I just saw special operations teams headed over to the Rayburn building, law enforcement teams. I'm also told that there are some supplemental officers coming in heavily armed, assault rifles, snipers. So they're taking this very seriously, but I still have not been able to reach anybody who has been able to confirm for me that these were indeed gunshots or that anybody has been wounded.

So I don't have that yet, Daryn, and that's what I'm trying to get for you.

KAGAN: Right. And really, what we're hearing and Mike Brooks heard from his sources on Capitol -- the Capitol Hill Police, that it's the sound of gunfire. They haven't been able to find any victims or any signs of any kind of gunman.

ARENA: Right. And there is a shooting range in that building, but it's not on that level. So that was -- some people were speculating that maybe it came, you know, from there, but from where these sounds came from, you know, there's nothing that they can come up with a good explanation for.

KAGAN: All right, Kelli. Kelli, thank you.

I want to go ahead and share something with you. Congressman Peter Hoekstra actually interrupting a meeting to talk about what was happening. Let's listen to sound from just a few minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

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, and then just please -- please stay in the room. All right. I'm sorry, Mr. Schonfeld (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The interruption is quite understandable.

HOEKSTRA: I think you saw there was a little bit of going on here in the panel, and it was not at all any disrespect to your testimony, it's a little unsettling to get a BlackBerry message put in front of you that says there's gunfire in the building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: That was Representative Peter Hoekstra just a few minutes ago interrupting a House Intelligence Committee meeting. And since that time the information has been updated a little bit. The sound of gunfire, but that was a really interesting perspective to see what it would have been like to be inside of a House committee meeting at that time to see how they got the news and to go through the procedure that they were told to do.

John King is standing by in our Washington, D.C., bureau -- John.

KING: I want to also now bring in to the conversation Ted Barrett, our Capitol Hill producer, who is making the rounds on Capitol Hill as well.

Ted, what have you learned?

TED BARRETT, CNN CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: John, just a couple of facts for you. I talked to a top official here who is monitoring this situation. He says that they are in fact responding to the sounds of more than one shot, although the person did not know how many, that the shot was heard by a single staff person on the G3 level of the Rayburn garage.

G3 level is not where the Capitol Police firing range is, and that's why they do not believe the sound came from the firing range. I am told a search is under way, but they don't know of anyone who's been injured. But I can tell you that the Capitol physicians emergency response team, which is made up of five or six people, doctors and emergency technicians, just ran out of here, which is protocol for them when they're responding to any sort of emergency and illness, anything at all. They run out of here in full force.

The Capitol is locked down, and they ran out of here about two minutes ago now.

KING: And Ted, we have on our screen a graphic showing our viewers the locations on Capitol Hill. Tell us where you are at the moment.

BARRETT: Well, I'm in the Capitol itself, which is locked down. So I'm on the first floor of the Capitol on the House side.

KING: So the entire House side is locked down, although the Senate is in session across the Capitol. You can't -- you can't get out of the building? Business is going on in the building, but you can't get out or get back in if you do?

BARRETT: That is correct. There are tourists and the like in here, but I don't know, it actually has sort of an odd feel to it right now, because it's typically bustling on a day like this. And it's quite quiet in the halls right now. But there are tourists in here and police and staff, and business is going on.

KING: Ted Barrett, thank you for that. And we'll get back to you as you get new information.

Ted Barrett, one of our fine producers on Capitol Hill.

I want to show our viewers just again the layout of the geography using the map here in "THE SITUATION ROOM".

You see the Capitol complex here. On the Constitutional Avenue side is the Senate side, the Senate office buildings. The Capitol, obviously in the center, and then over on the Independence Avenue, side of the House office buildings.

The building in yellow or gold, as you see it, is the Rayburn Office Building. That is where, as our team on Capitol Hill has been telling us, the Capitol Police are investigating sounds of gunfire in the G3 level, as Ted Barrett just told us, of the Rayburn Office Building.

The Rayburn Office Building is the largest of the House office buildings. It is four stories above ground, two basement levels, and then a three-level garage.

Ted Barrett telling us just moments ago the investigation focused on level G3 of the Rayburn Office Building garage. There are two entrances to that garage. Cars coming in can come in on the First Street side or on the back side.

As you go into that garage, your identification is checked, your car is checked. Generally police move a mirror underneath to make sure you don't have anything attached underneath your car. That one of the many post-9/11 security enhancements made here in Washington, D.C. And again, we should stress, the Capitol, the House side of the Capitol, locked down, these office buildings locked down. Anyone in the Rayburn building told to stay in their office, to not move about. But at this point what we know so far is they're investigating sounds of gunfire.

Obviously, a full team of Capitol Hill Police have responded. Our team on Capitol Hill is continuing to follow all of this. And we will bring you more as we get it.

Now back to Daryn Kagan in Atlanta.

KAGAN: All right, John. Thank you. Back and forth to you as well.

And our Dana Bash was the first one to break the story here for us. She is on Capitol Hill and part of the crowd that's been told don't go anywhere -- Dana.

BASH: Told not to go anywhere, but I am getting e-mails from -- from staff here that they are getting from the Capitol Police actually saying that the Capitol Police -- that the Capitol is actually going to be reopened and accessible. So the Capitol building itself, this is according to a bulletin that went out from the U.S. Capitol Police to staff, they're saying that the Capitol building itself is going to be open and accessible.

However, the Rayburn Office Building, which is where, as we've been reporting, the sounds of the gunfire came from, that is going to continue to be closed. So they're continuing to narrow the investigation, and they're opening up the Capitol building itself, according to the Capitol Police.

KAGAN: So would that be the area where you are?

BASH: That would be the area where I am. So it sounds like I'm free to leave and maybe roam around and try to get a better sense of what's going on.

And I'm also told our CNN Radio reporter, Lisa Goddard, is reporting that apparently there are hundreds of tourists who are sort of streaming out of the west front of the Capitol right now, because they have now been let out of the building.

KAGAN: They got a little bit more than they planned on when they signed up for their tour this morning, didn't they?

BASH: You bet.

KAGAN: Dana, thank you.

I want to go ahead and welcome in former Congressman Bob Barr, here with me here in Atlanta. I bet you're watching with great interest, as is much of America, and actually people around the world, what's happening there on Capitol Hill.

First of all, the Rayburn building, what can you tell us about that?

BOB BARR, FMR. U.S. CONGRESSMAN: The Rayburn building, Kyra (sic), is the most difficult building to contain and to figure out what's going on in. It is the largest building on Capitol Hill and the one with the most corridors. It has multi-level parking underneath, it is a very difficult building to secure because of its size and the complexity of its corridors.

KAGAN: And they are talking that it's in the garage on the third level. What would you -- is that where you used to park your car?

BARR: I didn't, but an awful lot of staff members and members of Congress do park there, because there are so many offices in that building. So you have a constant stream of traffic coming in, multi- level parking, many different areas. It's almost like a labyrinth underneath this building.

So it is a very difficult situation that's being presented to the Capitol Hill Police right now.

KAGAN: When the story first broke, they were talking about locking down all of the Capitol. That since has shrunk. But I think it's hard for people who haven't been there and haven't toured to appreciate the complexity of the tunnels and how buildings that seem like they're far apart are actually all connected in some way or another.

BARR: It is a very, very complex structure of buildings up there. You have the Capitol building, which has been around for 150 years or so now, with all sorts of tunnels underneath it. And then you have all of these other buildings, each of which was built in a different era.

So you have all sorts of different structures. And they are, as you said, connected underneath, not only with pedestrian tunnels, but also between some of the buildings in the Capitol with an electric train. So it is a very complex system of buildings and corridors that you have to secure when you have a situation where there's been possible gunfire.

KAGAN: And if you are just joining us, we're about 15 past the hour. We're getting the story out of Capitol Hill, is that the sound of gunfire heard in the garage of the Rayburn building, which is one of the office buildings that services Capitol Hill.

Let's go ahead and go back to the phone. Our Mike Brooks on the phone with us right now.

Mike, have you been able to learn anything new?

BROOKS: Well, Daryn, what I'm hearing form my sources, apparently some officers heard what they thought was shots fired in their -- in the -- on that particular level, the G3 level of the garage. They've looked, they heard a shot.

They have not been able to find anything. And my sources are telling me that they're talking about now opening the Rayburn bulling back up again after they go ahead and just do one more sweep to make sure they don't find anything at all.

KAGAN: Mike, Associated Press is reporting that four ambulances have shown up there on the scene at Capitol Hill. Would that just be protocol?

BROOKS: Yes, that would be just -- they would go ahead and pre- stage those things. Those - that's part of the emergency response plan for Capitol Hill.

If they do -- if something did happen, they would have the ambulances there, they would have the EMTs there at the scene. So they will go ahead and pre-stage them just in case something does happen. But this is part of the pre-planning, if you will, that they do on Capitol Hill, and they've got an excellent emergency response plan there.

KAGAN: You were explaining to us, Mike, in the last hour how this works. This started as something that looked like it was involving all of Capitol Hill, and slowly but surely the geographic area that they're focusing on appears to be shrinking.

How do they go about that procedure?

BROOKS: Well, they'll go ahead and lock everything down, then they'll go ahead and make sure that all of the Senate buildings are secure, the U.S. Capitol buildings are secure, and then the Rayburn building is secure, because as you know, and as we just head, there is a labyrinth, if you will, of tunnels that run between all the buildings.

There is an underground transportation system there. And they want to make sure that nothing happened where someone could get from the Rayburn building, if there was an active shooter, all the way over to the Senate side. It wouldn't take that long to get there, but they went ahead and locked that down. And as they go ahead and made sure all those areas were secure, they opened it back up and just kind of focus their attention on the Rayburn building to make sure that there were no victims and no active shooter running around.

KAGAN: All right, Mike. We'll be back to you.

John, I understand you have more information out of our D.C. bureau.

KING: Well, Daryn, we're going to bring in a guest who's in the Rayburn building. I want to quickly follow up on the point Congressman Barr was making.

The Rayburn building is giant, 720 foot long, 450 feet wide. It has 25 elevators and 23 escalators, as well as a subway line over to the Capitol.

In the Rayburn building right now is John Tomazwski. He's a top aide to Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania. John, can you hear me?

JOHN TOMAZWSKI, CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER: I can.

KING: Tell us how you found out about this, and let's start with what you know to be the latest right now.

TOMAZWSKI: Well, what we have in every office building is an enunciator that goes off. It's kind of like a pager, and it went off, and the announcement went over that there has been shots that were heard to be fired in the garage of the Rayburn building. At that time, an e-mail came across from the Capitol Police just telling us to close our doors, sit tight, and wait for further instructions.

KING: And have any further instructions come since that initial alert?

TOMAZWSKI: There was an update that the Capitol building was opened, was reopened, and that the Rayburn remains closed. We actually have some staff that were over in the Capitol that were evacuated, and they remain outside.

KING: Take us -- take us through the building, if you will. Help our viewers understand what this looks like. Where is your office in the Rayburn building?

TOMAZWSKI: We're on the fourth floor, so we're at the very top in the corner, right off Independence Avenue. So we have a direct view of the Capitol from here, and the Rayburn building is quite big and has a lot of different turns and twists to it.

KING: And if you were on G3 in the garage, where this incident has been reported to take place and the investigation is focused, what would it look like?

TOMAZWSKI: It would actually just be kind of an open -- just a big open floor with lots of -- you know, lots of parking spaces. It's quite expansive and stretches throughout the entire building. I actually parked my car down there, so I hope nothing bad happened.

KING: Your car is on G3 right now?

TOMAZWSKI: Yes.

KING: And tell me, John, when you go into that garage, help me understand the security measures. They check your I.D., and I know they often run the mirror underneath to make sure there's nothing attached to the bottom of the car.

TOMAZWSKI: Yes. When you come up, there's a guard gate. You know, you come up, you have to show your I.D., you have a parking sticker on your -- on the corner of your window, the Capitol Police officer checks your I.D., then they check -- you know, check your car out, the trunk and things like that. Then you go through a second checkpoint where you're entering the garage, where again they check the sticker on your car to make sure that you're allowed to park in that spot -- you know, park in that building. And then someone runs mirrors under your car to check and make sure there's nothing underneath, and then you kind of go through, and there are lots of police officers around throughout the parking area.

KAGAN: But if you have the proper sticker and there's nothing about your car that the security would be alarmed about, you could have a handgun or a rifle in your trunk or in your gym bag and get into the garage with no problem?

TOMAZWSKI: It's possible. It's definitely possible.

KING: Explain -- tell me again now. If the police are down on G3- -- if you're -- if you are down on G3, and let's say you needed to get out in an emergency, you heard a fire alarm, how many ways can you get out of that garage?

TOMAZWSKI: There are several exits for the parking floor there. You know, that would kick into several stairwells. There's lots of, you know, tunnels in the area there that kind of lead over to the Capitol, and stuff like that. So there's escalators, stairs. I mean, there's just -- there's a lot of areas where you could exit the parking lot if you were in it.

KING: And have you seen -- you're in your office. Have you looked outside at all, or have you just had your office doors closed -- any activities out in the hall?

TOMAZWSKI: We were instructed to keep our office doors closed and remain calm. And, you know, working on Capitol Hill, you have things like this happen often. And we're used to it, and we're just staying calm. We have had some staffers that were over in the Capitol giving tours, and they've been evacuated. They're safe, so everything is -- everything is quite fine.

KING: Our Dana Bash was talking about this earlier, the Friday heading into a holiday weekend. Is your office fully staffed today? Is there less activity than normal?

TOMAZWSKI: Yes, actually, we're fully staffed. The congressman was here late last night for votes. He went back -- back to the district today for some district events. And we're here just kind of wrapping up for the weekend, and we can't get out of here until this is over. So...

KING: John Tomazwski form Curt Weldon's office.

John, we thank you very much for helping us understand this building and this incident. Please stay in touch as you get further developments.

We want to now go back to our fine congressional producer, Ted Barrett, who I understand is outside, I believe, near the garage.

Ted, tell us where you are and what you know.

BARRETT: Yes. Hi, John. I am right at First Street and Independence Avenue right outside the Rayburn garage, the entrance here on First Street. The most interesting thing that has just happened is that they have opened up the westbound traffic on Independence Avenue. So it seems interesting that they do that, because typically it's my experience with these police, the Capitol Police that they -- they're very cautious and they make sure that no one would be put in any harm's way. And the fact that they've opened up this avenue and now they've let people out of the Capitol, and people are moving around the lawn and the sidewalks here, is probably a good sign.

KING: Help us understand, Ted, one more time, which end of the Rayburn building are you on? I want to show our viewers using the map we have on the wall. A north end, or down to the bottom of the hill?

BARRETT: Bottom of the hill. I heard you earlier talking about the Botanical Gardens, John. That's right next to me here. So I'm right at the corner of First and Independence Avenue, which is the east side of the Rayburn building. And this seems to be the main hub of police activity. There are two, four, five ambulances, a ton of police cars, and a ton of cops walking on the street here, but it certainly is calm and controlled at this point.

And at this point there's lots of tourists milling around. It certainly seems like the police do not seem overly concerned that there might be a gunman loose at this point. I would take that from what I'm seeing here.

KING: Let's reinforce that point. We understand the ambulances were deployed, but that's a general security protocol when you have reports of gunfire and the possibility that they would be needed. From everything you can see, they're on stand by, they're not active in any way, no emergency medical crews are moving about. They're just waiting?

BARRETT: Yes, absolutely. None of the medical teams seem to be doing anything other than standing by. I do know having talked to some police on the beat here that there are teams of police moving through the Rayburn building to secure it and to look for a gunman, if there is one, and to look for an injured person if there is one.

They have, I'm told, secured the garage and are searching through it, and then they have gone to the top of the Rayburn building and are moving their way from the top down. It is a sprawling building. I mean, this building is huge. So that could take a little while.

KING: And you're moving about out on the street, you have a congressional pass, obviously. Is the street now -- I know you said the traffic was being allowed to move on. Can any member of the public -- a lot of tourists in town for Memorial Day Weekend -- is there any restrictions on passage in the area where you are right now?

BARRETT: Well, the traffic seems to be moving westbound but not eastbound. So eastbound would be the side that is closest to the Rayburn building -- to the Rayburn building side. And the westbound traffic is moving. You hear some sirens perhaps (INAUDIBLE) police cars rolling up to the scene. And I'm not sure why they came in with the sirens on, but anyhow, they're pulling up and stopping.

KING: We were just talking, Ted, with John Tomazwski in Curt Weldon's office about that garage level, G3, and about how you're pretty far down, you're in the bowels of that building, if you will, buried into Capitol Hill. But there are yet a number of ways to get out.

Tell us from your experience, if you've been down there, and what does it look like. And if you were trying to -- if you were trying to escape, or if you're the police trying to secure all the exits, what kind of a task is that?

BARRETT: It is my experience having parked there for a few years that it's a confusing building and you would really -- I mean, I've parked there for years and I would still get lost on occasion in there if I ever tried to take a different entrance to get to my car. So if someone were trying to get out of there, they'd really have to know specifically where to go.

One thing I should point out is the G3 level is where you enter on the back side of the building, which is at E Street back there. It's not the First Street entrance. But if you come in on that back side, you come in on the G3 level, and that's the level where you pick up the subway to go across to the Capitol.

There's a bank there, there's some other services there. But that level is the main level to get to the Capitol if you are parking or working in the Rayburn building.

KING: Ted Barrett with the latest there on Capitol Hill.

Ted, keep in touch. We are blessed here at CNN to have a remarkable Capitol Hill team.

Daryn Kagan, back to you in Atlanta.

KAGAN: That we do. John, thank you.

We're getting close to the bottom of the hour. We have people watching across the U.S. and all around the world on CNN International. So let's go ahead and recap what we are watching.

A situation that began to unfold about 45 minutes ago when someone said they heard sounds of gunfire in the garage, the G3 level of the Rayburn Office Building, which is attached to Capitol Hill. At first we heard that the entire Capitol Hill was on lockdown. That has since -- the geography of that has since gotten smaller and smaller as they tried to even just figure out what happened, if anything happened.

Indeed, there have been no sightings of any victims, no sightings of any gunmen. They're just trying to make sure that everything is OK. Now, we've had different pictures of this happening. And as this unfolded, some interesting videotape to show you.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan was holding -- he was conducting a House Intelligence Committee hearing when word spread that they needed to go into a lockdown situation. We have that videotape. Let's listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

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, and then just please -- please stay in the room. All right. I'm sorry, Mr. Schonfeld (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The interruption is quite understandable.

HOEKSTRA: I think you saw there was a little bit of going on here in the panel, and it was not at all any disrespect to your testimony, it's a little unsettling to get a BlackBerry message put in front of you that says there's gunfire in the building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: And that's as it unfolded in the last hour. Representative Peter Hoekstra as he conducted the House Intelligence Committee hearing.

I have here with me in Atlanta former Congressman Bob Barr.

You watch a scene like that unfold. Is that exactly how you would expect it to transpire?

BARR: Well, it is. The one thing about the Capitol Hill Police, they're well-trained, they've gone through a number of scenarios, particularly since 9/11, to plan for this sort of thing. We just saw Chairman Hoekstra from Michigan there.

Calmness is really what's most important in a situation like this. Certainly until everybody...

KAGAN: It looks like they were doing that.

BARR: Well, and they were. And that's a good sign. I mean, it's not that people are used to this. It's simply a reflection of the fact that this is the way you handle something like this. And hopefully this will all turn out to be sort of a false alarm, maybe some sort of sound that a staff person mistook for gunfire. Hopefully, that will that be the case. But you don't want to leave it for chance.

As we've talked about, this is a very complex set of buildings, the Rayburn office building in particular. There are not only all sorts of parking levels and business levels of the building, but tunnels and all sorts of little rooms where somebody could hide very easily.

KAGAN: If, indeed, there is somebody who's hiding. That hasn't even been...

BARR: Sure. It takes time to secure the building. And you want the Capitol Hill Police to be able to do that without all sorts of other civilians, so called, running around the building.

KAGAN: And in your time serving in Congress, did you ever find yourself in a lockdown situation?

BARR: Occasionally we did. Certainly the one that comes most readily to mind is 9/11. I was in Chairman Hoekstra's situation. I was conducting a hearing that very moment when the second plane hit and then the Pentagon plane hit and we handled it very much the same way.

KAGAN: But I would imagine things have changes a lot since 9/11?

BARR: There are a lot more security procedures in place. Obviously there is also more security on The Hill. Some of it the public never sees. But the Capitol Hill Police are very, very good at this sort of situation. And I think that everybody, not only on Capitol Hill but across the country, can rest assured that we have a very professional police service in charge up there that is well trained in handling these sort of situations.

KAGAN: And in general, you don't ask a lot of questions when you're told to do something in a situation like that.

BARR: No, the Capitol Hill Police have the credibility, so the people know that when they call a lockdown, there's a pretty good reason for it. So you don't just sort of run around and say, oh I'm not going to pay any attention to that.

KAGAN: Congressman, thank you. If you can stay with me -- I know maybe a few more minutes that you can spend with us, I'd appreciate that.

BARR: Sure.

KAGAN: We are getting word that the Capitol Hill Police will be holding a news conference at the top of the hour in about 30 minutes. So we'll bring you the latest on that.

Meanwhile, let's go to our Dana Bash who is there on Capitol Hill. Dana.

BASH: Hi there, Daryn.

Well hopefully we'll get more clarification certainly at the top of the hour when we hear from the Capitol Police for the first time officially. We just -- I just saw another notice that went out to House staff and members just a few moments ago, essentially restating the state of play right now, which is that the Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the report of gunshots in the Rayburn office building. And it says that the Rayburn building and the garages in that building are shut down at this time.

However, as we've been reporting, this makes it official, that the two other office buildings on the House side are actually open and not affected and that the Capitol is actually open and will be open. However, the tunnels that we've been talking about that connect everything from, you know, from the Capitol to the House office buildings and the Senate office buildings, at least on the House side, those tunnels are going to remain closed.

And this guidance notice from the Capitol Police says that as soon as they have completed clearing the garage levels, then they will let people know. But that's where things stand at this point in terms of the investigation and what they're telling staff and members in the House side of the Capitol.

KAGAN: Yes, and, Dana, I don't think you can see this new video, new pictures we're just getting into us here at CNN, our affiliate WJLA sending in these pictures. You can see a number of people. Because not only were people locked in, they were locked out. So people waiting to try to get inside theses buildings. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they had everybody clear out of the building. And they've surrounded it right now. I don't know what's going on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I didn't hear anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you were down in the garage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: G-3 was where from where you were?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We walked right on of G-3. We just walked out. As soon as we walked out and got to the truck, he came running out saying shots fired on G-3.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What's your name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kevin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your last name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holingsworth (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

KAGAN: We're watching these pictures as you do, as it's just being fed to us live here from our affiliate WJLA.

Dana, are you still with us?

BASH: I am.

KAGAN: Able -- well, let's listen to hear what this man has to say.

BASH: OK.

KAGAN: Well, no. OK. We're going to go ahead and (INAUDIBLE) that videotape before we go back to that. We were able to answer a question that we had earlier. You were reporting that staffers were told to do a number of things, including grab their go kits. The question of the time, what's in a go kit. I think you've been able to find that out.

BASH: I have been able to find that out. And it's a rather lengthy list of things. Essentially there is -- it's a backpack that has a first aid kit, water packets and bottles, flashlights and glow sticks, maps, staff accountability rosters and contact lists, a battery, a Dynamo (ph) powered am/fm radio, space blankets, ponchos, large plastic bags, a person alarm. These are all things in a list of what's in a go kit that a very kind staff member sent to me listening to us talk about what's in it. This is a go kit that was given to members and their staff when they changed the procedures and obviously stepped up the security procedures enormously after 9/11.

Now when the notice went out initially to those in and around the Rayburn building to either basically stay where they are, they were told to make sure they knew where these go kits were just in case. So pretty extensive list of things that they have in these kits. If at any time they would need all these things.

KAGAN: All right, Dana, thank you. Dana Bash is there on Capitol Hill. She, even though the area that's been in lockdown has gotten smaller and smaller, she still is in an area where she is not allowed to leave the building.

Our John King is inside of our Washington D.C. bureau.

And John, we'll bring you in as we continue to look at these new pictures coming to us from our affiliate WJLA in Washington.

KING: And, Daryn, as watch these pictures, I want to go back to our Ted Barrett, who is standing right outside the Rayburn building. I believe I can show you over my shoulder here the blue dot on the map is the corner of Independence Avenue and First Street, I believe, where Ted Barrett is standing by. Ted, I understand you have some new information.

BARRETT: John, I do. A couple of things.

One is there have been two groups of SWAT teams that have moved in here. Now one of them is just standing by on a corner. But the second group just pulled up and they are marked as FBI. And they're in full regalia. I don't know. I guess they're going to head on in there.

The second thing, perhaps more importantly, is that an ambulance has just backed up to the -- near the entrance of the Rayburn garage here on First Street and a gurney has been unloaded. Now that technician team with the gurney has not gone in. They seem to be standing by. But here before we had been told they had not found anyone injured in this incident. And I'm not saying that they have, but they certainly, you know, have got this gurney out and seem to be prepare.

KING: And, Ted, are there police on the scene interviewing any of the people around, anyone who's come out of the building, asking them what they might have seen. Any of them? Especially those who might have been in the building at the time?

BARRETT: I'm sure that's happening, but it's not happening where I'm standing, John.

KING: OK, Ted Barrett standing by on the scene there. And you say the gurney went up to the building but has not gone on. And we're watching now. We should let you know, Ted, because you can't see this, we're watching on the air pictures from our affiliate here, this is WJLA in Washington, D.C., of some of the police activity, including police officers with automatic rifles roaming the grounds up there.

Let me ask you on that point, in terms of the police activity and the urgency of it, is it about the same? Has it seemed to calm down a bit in your time there?

BARRETT: It is about the same, but they did have the Capitol Police SWAT team arrive and just now the FBI SWAT team arrived. And so they're here on the scene. And although now the FBI team seems to be headed back out. So you're getting real play by play here, John, because they're headed back to their vehicle. I don't know what they're going to do.

But this ambulance did -- was parked down Independence Avenue. There are several ambulances here. One of them backed up right to the corner of First and Independence. A gurney was taken out of it. There are three technicians with that gurney. They're standing by.

KING: All right, Ted Barrett, I'm going to ask you to stand by.

I want to tell our viewers, just to understand the scope of this, searching in this underground garage, they have spaces for up to 1,600 cars. It takes up 42 percent of the building's gross space. I want to bring in now Brian Todd, another one of our correspondents here in Washington, who I understand also has some more information.

Brain.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, we're outside the Rayburn building now, outside the police cordon. A top law enforcement source tells me that they are still canvassing the garage, checking these reports. The source says that two officers reported what they thought were gunshots, but they are still canvassing the garage.

We also got the same report that Ted alluded to just a moment ago, of an ambulance backing up, but our source tells us is protocol. The key thing to know here is that the source tells us that there is no evidence of anything at this point. No evidence of any injuries. They can't find even any physical evidence of shots at this point. Still very early, but this is what we can say.

KING: And, Brian, where physically are you?

TODD: I'd say we're probably about 200 yards from the entrance to the garage.

KING: On the -- so Ted is at First -- explain this. Help our viewers understand. Now Ted Barrett is at First Street. Are you up -- you're further up The Hill?

TODD: We are actually on the other -- we're about a block and a half away from where Ted is, essentially on the other side of the Rayburn building. We're at the corner of C Street and Washington Avenue, which is from the west side of the Rayburn building, on the corner there. It's basically on the southwest side, John. And basically just on the opposite side of the building from where Ted is.

KING: And let me ask you to go one more time because we've had, as this has unfolded over the past hour, some conflicting information. I want you to go through one more time what your source is telling you led to this investigation.

TODD: The source tells me that two officers heard what they thought were shots fired in the G-3 level of the Rayburn garage. They're investigating now. They're still canvassing the garage. The ambulance that Ted Barrett reported is pulling up is indeed there and my sources tell me this is protocol. But I have to tell you, there are several ambulances lined up in the vicinity of this building, but that is also, we're told, protocol for this type of an investigation.

But the source tells me that right now no evidence of anything. No evidence of injuries. No evidence even of gunshots being fired that they're finding at this point. And again stressing that it's still very early.

KING: Brian Todd, stand by for us as well. And back to Daryn Kagan now in Atlanta. Thank you, Brian.

KAGAN: All right, John, thank you.

I do want to remind our viewers that in about 20 minutes we do expect a news conference to be happening in Washington, D.C. with the Capitol Hill Police. At that time we expect to learn a lot more about what has transpired and what they're doing and what the status is of the lockdown. And you're going to see that news conference live here on CNN, top of the hour, 12 noon Eastern.

Meanwhile, we do have our people all over Capitol Hill, including our Deirdre Walsh, a CNN producer, who is in the basement of the very building that we've been focusing on, the Rayburn office building.

Deirdre, what can you tell us about your status right now?

WALSH: Daryn, we're actually outside the Rayburn building now. The Capitol Police escorted us out of the basement through the garage area and then an officer with the criminal investigations unit actually asked to debrief us on what we saw, heard, or smelled inside the Rayburn building. The officer with the criminal investigations unit, Mark Crawford (ph), did not give us any information on the incident and we're, just like everyone else, we're outside waiting for the press conference to start at noon.

KAGAN: So in this case the police turned the tables and they were the ones asking the questions of the media. What did you tell them about what you saw, heard and smelled?

WALSH: We just reported that we were inside the judiciary committee hearing room finishing up a press conference with Chairman Sensenbrenner when we heard several U.S. Capitol Police officers running very quickly down the highway and we heard -- we followed the police officers, along with several camera crews, down to the basement level. And at that time we heard the overhead page a few minutes later that the Capitol Police were investigating sounds of gunfire in the Rayburn garage and that they directed all staff to remain in their offices.

KAGAN: And up to this point the big news on Capitol Hill today was that the House and the Senate trying to come up with some sort of compromise on immigration reform.

WALSH: Correct. And Chairman Sensenbrenner had a very lively press conference talking about his views on the upcoming conference with the Senate on his immigration bills. And then quickly after that is when the incident occurred we believe.

KAGAN: Well, little did Congressman Sensenbrenner know that he would not be the lead story very soon after his news conference there.

Thank you, Deirdre Walsh, just outside the Rayburn building.

Also have sound coming into us here at CNN by -- sound with an eyewitness who was very near the building when this all unfolded. Let's listen in to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were about to go down into the garage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, actually, we had already made some deliveries. And we were coming right out and heard an officer coming running out saying shots fired on G-3. And they had everybody clear out of the building. And they're surrounding it right now. I don't know what's going on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I didn't hear anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you were down in the garage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: G- 3 was where from where you were?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We walked right on of G-3. We just walked out. As soon as we walked out and got to the truck, he came running out saying shots fired on G-3.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What's your name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kevin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your last name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holingsworth (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

How you doing? Were you down there? Where you down there? What did you hear or see?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't hear or see anything other than Capitol Police officers asking people to lockdown and some were moved out of the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They came up to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, they came up to me and several people that were standing in the hallway. See, it's not a busy day up here either. It's Friday. You know, Congress is out of session. Folks, you know, doing their own thing, cleanup day, that kind of stuff. You know, it's a slack day for us. But it's a good thing, too, I guess. They're just using precautionary measures. You never know in times like we've got today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they heard shots fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what they said, but, you know, shots can be determined by other things. You could drop a bullet on the floor and it sound like a shot fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's what they're looking at now, to see if it was construction.

KAGAN: Well, if there's one thing that we've seen consistently across the board, people told to remain calm and they certainly appear to be sticking to that.

In about 15 minutes we expect a news conference live out of Washington D.C. with Capitol Hill police. In anticipation of that, let's go ahead and bring in our Mike Brooks who is standing by on the phone. He's had a chance to talk with Capitol Hill Police before that news conference begins.

Mike.

BROOKS: Hi, Daryn. As we just heard a moment ago from Brian Todd, he was reporting what I was reporting earlier about how this all came to be with the officers hearing what they thought was the sound of gunshots. And, you know, as a former law enforcement officer I can tell you, if you're somewhere and you think you hear what you hear what you hear, you think you hear gunshots, you're going to go, hey, I'm going to report this in and then, you know, go ahead, let's get more units on the scene and find out exactly what it was.

And the officers up on Capitol Hill are very sensitive to this. You know we go back to July 24, 1998, when there was an actual shooting inside the Capitol building. I was one of the first ones on the scene there, heard the calls for help go out and got there when two Capitol Police officers had been killed. And we remember that. That was just a tragic day up on Capitol Hill. And there are many people who are still working with U.S. Capitol Police that remember this day. So they're going to take an abundance of caution when they hear about shots being fired anywhere on Capitol Hill, Daryn.

But my sources are telling me that they're just -- they've got it narrowed down to that one little corner, that one little piece that we've been talking about, Washington Avenue, First Street, Independence Avenue. They're going to search that, make sure there's nothing there and hopefully be opening the Rayburn building back up here shortly.

KAGAN: How long do you think something like that would take as they narrow down the geographic area?

BROOKS: Well, we've kind of, you know, narrowed it down from the Senate side's back in business, the U.S. Capitol building itself is back in business, and the other House office buildings are also back with business as normal. And they've kind of narrowed it down to this one little corner, Daryn.

And they're just going to go ahead and search this with a fine tooth comb. We've heard of the number of SWAT teams up there, the FBI SWAT teams up there now, and that's normal. The more bodies you get to put on the scene of something like this, to search, that have the capabilities and the knowledge and, you know, the equipment to go ahead and make sure everything's done properly, the quicker it will get done. And, hopefully, it will not take too much longer.

But as I always say, Daryn, once you let that genie back out of the bottle, it's tough to stuff that genie back in. But they're taking an abundance of caution and they're going to make sure that no stone remains unturned and they're going to go ahead and make sure there's no evidence whatsoever of any shooting.

KAGAN: And as these pictures come in from our affiliate and we're watching SWAT teams and all different types of law enforcement showing up, are we talking about only one law enforcement agency here that would handle this?

BROOKS: Well, the main agency is the U.S. Capitol Police. We see the officers there. They are with the CERT team, the containment and emergency response team. One of the top tactical teams in the Washington D.C. area. You've also had metropolitan police that responded to the scene. Some of those units are already going back in service, I'm being told by people at the scene. And you also have the FBI. Since it is federal territory, the FBI could be asked to bring their tactical element in and they also are an excellent top trained team and would assist the CERT team in containing that area, searching it, looking for any evidence of any shooting.

And also keep in mind, Daryn, there are also video cameras in that garage. They'll go back, take a look at that, and kind of line the time line, get a time line and say, OK, what did these officers think what they heard. They'll go back, run those tapes back and see if there's any evidence of any shooting, see if there's anyone with a gun. And, again, that's just another piece of the investigation that they're probably going and making sure that there's nothing that was going on at that particular time.

KAGAN: Mike Brooks, thanks for the explanation.

Let's go back to D.C. and John King.

John.

KING: Daryn, thank you very much.

We want to bring into the conversation a house aid, Steven Broderick. He's a press aid to Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts, who had the unlucky timing, I guess would be the right way of saying it, of being in the garage as all this unfolded.

Steven, can you hear me?

STEVEN BRODERICK, SPOKESMAN FOR CONGRESSMAN: I can.

KING: Tell me exactly what was happening.

BRODERICK: Well, I was in the garage getting ready to go out and pick up the congressman to bring him to the airport when before I could even leave the garage a Capitol Police officer ran up to me and told me to park my car, stay in my car, and put my hands on the steering wheel, which I did. And I was able to see there were a number of police officers in the garage with their guns drawn searching for something. What was not immediately evident.

After a couple minutes, a police officer came over and told me I could get out of my car, but I was to run in the direction of several police officers, which I did. Because when the Capitol Police tells you to run, you run. And got there and was told by the officers to come back up to my office on the fourth floor of the building and to stay in here. And it wasn't until I got into the office that I had actually known what was going on and that there were reports of gunfire in the garage.

KING: Steven, to the best of your recollection, what time was it when the officers approached you?

BRODERICK: Oh, gosh, I don't even remember. I want to say it was around quarter of 11:00.

KING: And how long had you been sitting in the car at that point?

BRODERICK: Probably -- I was in my car for a good five, six minutes and watched them do a lot of searching and wasn't really evident what they were looking for at the time.

KING: What level of the garage were you on?

BRODERICK: This is the top level of the three-story underground garage.

KING: So that would be G-1.

BRODERICK: No, actually G-3.

KING: Three. It goes backwards. So you were on G-3. You were on G-3 in your car somewhere in the area of 10:35, 10:40 this morning?

BRODERICK: Yes.

KING: And did you hear anything unusual?

BRODERICK: I didn't hear anything, but it's a big garage.

KING: When you were sitting in the garage, were you parked in a normal spot or had you just pulled into the garage?

BRODERICK: No, I was parked in my normal spot. I was getting ready to leave and I had made a probably about 150 yards to the exit of the building when I was approached and told to park my car and just stay there.

KING: And when the officer first approached you and said put your hands on the wheel, did you feel that the officer was questioning you?

BRODERICK: A little bit, yes. I wondered if I had done something wrong. I wondered if there was something going on and it involved me somehow. But it obviously didn't. KING: Yes, I'm sure you were nervous at that moment. But can you recall how many officers you saw? And you say they had their guns drawn as they were looking?

BRODERICK: There were probably a good half dozen officers where I was with their guns drawn looking for things.

KING: And, Steven, you're back in your office now, you say?

BRODERICK: Yes, we are. In fact, there's an alert coming over the emergency system right now telling us to stay in our offices still.

KING: To continue to remain in your offices?

BRODERICK: Stay in our offices and I guess continue doing the work that we were doing before all this started.

KING: And that is the latest word. There's been no update at all about what they have found or what they have not found? Nothing on the status of the search? Simply stay put in your office and continue to follow the alert protocol?

BRODERICK: Yes. Just stay here and keep doing what we're doing. I mean I do just want to say one quick thing and that is that, you know, the Capitol Police were incredibly professional about the whole thing. They were very nice. I mean they were assertive about parking my car and getting out, but, you know, there is something comforting about the fact that, you know, you come to work every day, you see these guys, and they're professionals and they know what they're doing. So I'm glad that they're actually looking for whatever's going on around here.

KING: An excellent point in closing. Steven Broderick, thank you for sharing your story with us. Please stay in touch as you learn new details.

And for now let's go back to Daryn Kagan in Atlanta.

KAGAN: Boy, that's a day coming to work he'll never forget, absolutely.

KING: That's right.

KAGAN: Interesting.

We were showing you video earlier of the House Intel Committee that was meeting and what they did when they got the alert that they had to close to door and just stay where they were. We want to show you -- we do have pictures that -- live pictures right now. This is still going on. So even though they've been told not to leave, it still goes on. And these are all new pictures that we're getting into us. A combination of our own pictures and our affiliates as well as we bring you this story of the Rayburn office building.

This is the media being led to the garage as they were moved along and got word that something was up and the Capitol Hill Police. And as you can see, photographers are being professional. They're moving, but they're rolling at the same time and so that they have the pictures to bring in to tell the story.

And actually we had a crew in that pack of media that we just showed you. Earlier they were there to meet with and hear from James Sensenbrenner talking about the possibility of a compromise in immigration reform now that the Senate has passed a bill. If they can come to a compromise between the Senate and the House versions. But as that was ending, they were hustled out and taken to an area and we had our own CNN crew in there as well.

Our Dana Bash not in that event but on Capitol Hill and found herself at the time being told not to leave as well and still in that situation.

Dana.

BASH: Well, I'm actually in the Capitol building. And this building is actually open now. That's what you're looking at, the actual United States Capitol. The building itself is open now and the lockdown, so to speak, is now very limited, Daryn, and is limited to the Rayburn building, to the actual building itself. There you see the actual map. That building where the shots were heard or at least people thought they heard shots fired. So that is really where people are told not to leave.

We just saw the live picture of the hearing room of the House Intelligence Committee. That is still going on. The doors are shut. The doors are actually sealed. So they're doing their thing. But when they're finished, they can't leaving, and that goes for everybody at this point in that Rayburn building until the Capitol Police conclude their search and their investigation at this time.

KAGAN: And speaking of that, at the top of the hour, in about seven minutes, we do expect a news conference. For Capitol Hill Police to hold that news conference. You'll see that live here on CNN. We do expect to learn a lot more about what they believe has taken place and the search and what they're -- as they're trying to figure out what is happening at this time.

So you're in an area that was locked down but now people are free to move around and to leave. And I would imagine, Dana, that includes a number of tourists.

BASH: It includes a number of tourists. In fact, after the building was reopened, there was a flood of tourists that actually went down the steps of the west front of the Capitol. This is high season for tourism and there were certainly a lot of people here.

In terms of the actual members and the staff, not only because it's a Friday, which on any given Friday there are generally fewer people here, but it's the beginning of a week long recess, a Memorial Day recess. So it's been -- it's thinner here in terms of the crowd. But not thin in terms of the tourist crowd. So earlier today, as I heard about the sound of shots fired and tried to get out of the building to try to get to the scene and the Capitol Police literally stopped me in my tracks and locked the doors of the Capitol. I wasn't the only one. There were tourists who were basically trapped in this building for a short while as well, but they were able to leave.

And I can tell you that I'm looking at the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell is there on the floor. And so business as usual is going on in the Senate. On the House side, they had already adjourned for recess. But the hearing we were talking about is going on, but the actual house floor is not in session right now and they won't be for another week until they've return from recess.

KAGAN: No, they won't. But as we're seeing those live pictures, some committee meetings still going on.

BASH: Exactly.

KAGAN: Politicians still having something to say, even with this...

BASH: Go figure.

KAGAN: Yes. They continue their work there. John King in D.C.

John.

KING: Thank you very much.

Dana's colleague, Ted Barrett, continues to remain outside the Rayburn building watching this investigation unfold. Want to go back to Ted now for some new information.

Ted.

BARRETT: Hey, John.

I just moved up Independence Avenue to the east side of the Rayburn building, up the hill, and there was a brief burst of activity, several Capitol Hill Police cars coming in with their sirens on. They have shut down Independence Avenue again. They have cleared -- it's now a ghost town up here on -- you know up the hill by the Capitol they've cleared all the tourists down the hill, down toward towards First Street. And a couple of the cops I spoke to said something along the lines of, you know, there may be a gunman and that's why that action was suddenly taken.

And it is now completely shut down up here and there's no one around except for several police officers on the lookout, standing post. So brief and sudden and all the tourists and everybody else is gone and I'm being ordered out myself right now.

KING: I want to follow up on that point, Ted, if you can talk to me as you're being ushered away from where you need to go. You said somebody said there may be a gunman. Again, we don't want to be overly speculative, but who said that?

BARRETT: Cops on the beat.

KING: Cops on the beat said that.

And, Ted, explain again where you are. I want to walk over to a graphic here we have for our viewers and try to show them exactly where you are. When we last spoke you were down at First and Independence. You say you moved up Capitol Hill. How far up Independence did you go?

BARRETT: Up to the tip of the Rayburn building, up the hill. So that would be the northeast corner of the Rayburn building. And everything is -- yes, everything's closed down here.

You know, one of the things that's gone on here, John, is they're setting up for the big Memorial Day concert. So there are all sorts of, you know, there's snow fencing and the scaffolding going up and there's a lot of tourists and the like here for the holiday weekend. But they've now cleared everybody down. There is just -- there was, for a few minutes, a sudden sense of alert, but now things seem to have calmed back down.

And I'm moving back down the hill towards First and Independence because that's where I've been instructed to go.

KING: All right, Ted Barrett, thank you very much. Keep doing the great work you're doing.

A news conference coming up momentarily, but now back to Daryn Kagan for more information.

KAGAN: Yes. You know, John, we expect that news conference to be within the next few minutes. Before that happens, other developments.

Let's go back to Dana. Dana Bash.

BASH: Well, I just want to add to what Ted Barrett was talking about. He was being ushered from the scene where he was near the Rayburn building. And I was just telling you, Daryn, that we here in the Capitol, the actual Capitol building, were free to go.

Not anymore. I just got an e-mail from a source here saying that the Capitol building is once again under lockdown. So they have locked the doors to the Capitol building once again. It is unclear whether or not they have found something that they were looking for or what development led to this. But the Capitol building is once again locked down, Daryn.

KAGAN: And that would be the first indication that this is headed in a different direction. Because since we started reporting this story over an hour ago, it seemed like step by step that they were shrinking the geographical area that they were focusing on and it seemed like it was becoming less and less serious.

BASH: That's correct. That is certainly the impression that we were getting from all of the notices that were coming out from the Capitol Police. But at this point it -- they have changed their strategy, so to speak, and they have locked down the Capitol. And from Ted Barrett's reporting, they have also ushered people away from the Rayburn building where they were able to stand. He was talking about tourists, many tourists standing in and around the Rayburn building itself. No longer. And we'll keep you posted as to what's the scene.

KAGAN: And for those not as -- yes, for those not as familiar with Washington D.C., when you say the Capitol building, explain exactly what part you're talking about.

BASH: I'm talking about exactly what you're looking at on the screen. The building with the dome on top of it. On one side of it you have the House of Representatives, the House chamber, on the other side you have the Senate and the Senate chamber. And then there are ancillary buildings where members of Congress and senators have their actual offices. There are three buildings, office buildings on the House side. The Rayburn building is one of those buildings. That is the building where you see pictures there of the garage. It's that garage you're looking at on the lower right of your screen inside the Rayburn Building where there were reports of the sound of gunfire.

KAGAN: Dana, thank you. We will be back to you in just a moment.

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