While the U.S. Capitol was on lockdown during a shooting incident Thursday
, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., says she kept her cool to avoiding ramping up panic.
"When something like this happens we all need to be on the alert, but usually it's over-alert," Norton, a non-voting delegate representing the capital city, told MSNBC's Martin Bashir
Norton said she'd prefer to see things get back to normal more quickly because it hurts the city and keeps everyone alarmed.
Even though people in the Capitol were told to stay inside their offices and get away from windows, Norton said she ignored that advice.
"Post 9/11 left me with such a feeling that everyone was so afraid," she said, "that what you needed was to inspire calm, not to have everybody do more than the police say was necessary."
The current government shutdown
did not appear to affect the readiness of Capitol police, she said, noting that with a dozen or so police agencies in the city, the Capitol is one of the safest places to be.
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