Several Valley congressman were at or near the Capitol that went into lockdown Thursday when a woman attempted to penetrate security barriers.
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, was doing an interview when shots rang out. He ducked into a basement near the Capitol with a staffer.
While locked in the basement, he told The Bee that "It's just surprising and there's lots of frustration with everything else going on, so it just kind of adds to it."
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, was walking to a restaurant near his office when he heard of the lockdown.
"The Capitol police, they just did a terrific job, along with our staff," Costa said. "Our nation's capital is perhaps the safest city in the world you could be at."
Jessica Kahanek, a spokeswoman for Costa's office, said she went into "auto pilot" when told to find shelter.
"We know the Capitol is always going to be an icon for someone who could want to do something bad," she said.
Jack Langer, spokesman for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, was locked into Nunes' office with the congressman and several others for about a half hour.
"We just had the feeling that police were handling it," Langer said, who added he didn't see a connection between the incident and the government shutdown.
"It was kind of a good thing that the shutdown was going on today, actually," Langer said, "because there were less people around."
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