March 26th, 2010
03:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Cantor's staff tries to clarify gunshot claim

'Cantor's staff said he was happy to find out that police attributed the incident to random gunfire.
'Cantor's staff said he was happy to find out that police attributed the incident to random gunfire.

Washington (CNN) – Staffers to a top House GOP member sought to clarify an earlier claim of political violence against him Friday after police determined that a bullet shot at his local campaign office was the result of random gunfire.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, told reporters Thursday that a bullet had been shot through the window of his Richmond office - supposedly part of an escalating cycle of violence and threats in the wake of Sunday's sharply polarized health care reform vote.

Richmond police later determined, however, that Cantor had not been targeted by political opponents. Instead, they concluded, the incident was a consequence of "random gunfire."

"Given a recent spike in threats against Representative Cantor, he, his family and his security were concerned the bullet found in his campaign office was related to a number of violent e-mails and phone messages, many of them anti-Semitic and some of them threatening gun violence," Cantor spokesman John Murray said.

The congressman "was very happy to find out that police attributed this particular incident to random gunfire," Murray said. Now "we need to move on."

Cantor said Thursday that he had been "directly threatened." Hours later, however, the Richmond Police Department provided a statement noting that a preliminary investigation concluded "that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpanebut did not penetrate the window blinds."


The statement noted that "was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."

Murray said law enforcement officials had told Cantor before he spoke with reporters that police were investigating the possibility he was being targeted.

Brad Dayspring, another Cantor spokesman, said staffers called the Richmond Police Department 30 minutes before Cantor's news conference and were told the matter was under investigation.

Dayspring said that, as far as he knows, no Cantor staffers knew about the preliminary findings mentioned in Thursday's police statement until hours after the congressman spoke to reporters.

Cantor slammed Democrats Thursday for supposedly exploiting threatening emails and phone messages for political gain. The only Jewish Republican in Congress, Cantor said he has received threatening messages for years.

Until now, Cantor has not made a practice of discussing the threats in public, according to Murray.

Most of the publicized threats in the wake of the health care vote have been directed against Democrats.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Popular Posts
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. AKM

    Why this is news? Everything that comes out of his mouth is lie.

    March 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. carmikal

    Was the window slanted at an angle? Is his office in the hood were random shooting occurs on a regular basis??

    March 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Peace

    Why did he bring the incidence into light without a concrete evidence? Is he aware that it is an insult to those accused?

    March 26, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. John

    I can confirm the voracity of police claims about random bullets. Coming from Los Angeles, my experience is that random bullets are as common as ice cubes in a cocktail. :)

    March 26, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Eimerd

    Cantor; You lie, you lie again and you lie some more.

    March 26, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Poetic Justice

    Sue, How does it feel to be the embodiment of an idiot?

    March 26, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Linda

    Why am I not surprised?

    March 26, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. willard bullock

    I am belived that demorctor are keep story liar other people

    March 26, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. AndyBlue

    Republicans lie. Soldiers Die.

    6,404 Soldiers are dead as of todays count.

    Thanks Republicans. You will never get my vote ever again.

    Disgusting Liars.

    March 26, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. MARIA N GONZALEZ

    This is what happens when you lie, sooner or later you get caught, this is what the Republicans do. Cantor Lied and got caught. Just like Sarah P, All she does is lie.

    March 26, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Dean

    Cantor is such a dweeb

    March 26, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Ben in Texas

    To Sue,

    Eric Cantor insulted 2 Democratic lawmakers over this non-incident. He singled them out as being responsible for people shooting at his office. But people WEREN'T shooting at his office.

    So, why aren't you calling for him to apologize for his insults? If you were "fair and balanced", surely you would see that Cantor needs to give an abject apology, instead of the "let's move on" he sent his staff to give to the media. Do you think it's okay, because he is a Republican, that he does not accept responsibility for his action?

    Maybe Cantor would better understand the term, "mensch"? Or maybe not, since he ain't one. And neither are you.

    March 26, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Maybe cantor needs to look for other employment. How about looking into the "shooting" LOL before you opened your big stupid mouth?
    It's funny how the repugs immediately called to a stop to the violence but when the democrats were being targeted they couldn't even talk about it without snickering.
    If he receives anti Semitic letters and phone calls maybe he should look at the members of his own parties (i.e., the teabaggers, the quitter followers, the birthers). Democrats, most of them anyway, are more lenient about people's differences.
    It's the hard core rednecks and right wing nutsos who don't like anyone who is "like them". Meaning white!!

    March 26, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Indy

    Ah what the heck, it gave him a chance to get on TV and lie and Republicans take every opportunity they can for that. For the rest of us it was pretty clear early on yesterday that it was a random shot in the air, which Cantor knew early on but like I said he took the opportunity to take to the air waves and stir up the crazies on false pretences. In his defence he can just plead Republican, or stupid, Palin does it daily

    March 26, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Biased

    So what does random gunfire supposed to mean – that a bullet didn't go through his window and penetrate far enough for democrats to be real? Did random gunfire hit anywhere else that we have heard of – NO!
    The responses here from liberal supporters are pitiful – and can any of you yet provide proof that some of the democratic house members were called racial slurs? No – just like no one was able to prove that someone in a Palin rally called out "Kill him...........". Funny how fanning the flames seems to be the democratic game of the day – someone came out and tried to blame all of this on Palin, as usual Seems your incessant hatred for one woman knows no bounds and borders on compulsive disorder behavior.

    March 26, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. SL

    Likely story. People who lie tell lies.

    March 26, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. Jeff in Virginia

    Lets get one thing straight- if CNN knows that a politician is lying, and then CNN repeats those lies, it means that CNN is lying.

    Get a grip.

    March 26, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Lulu, NYC

    LMAO!!! What a friggin liar! Ohhhhh, they shot at me tooooooo! It's the democratttssss, what an ASS!!!!

    March 26, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. MARIA

    This is what happens when you lie, sooner or later you get caught, this is what the Republicans do. Cantor Lied and got caught. Just like Sarah P, All she does is lie and stir hate.

    March 26, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Bob

    Why do the republicans have a problem now??? They,, and their hate filled comments in this debate have the right wing crazy's doing stupid things. Americans trying to hurt other Americans is really over the top especially when we have so many problems with terrorists and country's like Iran and N Korea.

    March 26, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Haas

    Eric Can'tor is a do nothing Repub. His staffer was right. Let move on...let's vote him out of office and move on.

    March 26, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Indy

    Sue,
    Why don't you speak of all the back door deals Cheney did to cause massive deaths, massive deficits, and all the lies and deciet to every country that blew the US foreign policy into shambles. Keep in mind nothing for middle class was done, this was all done to drain the economy and make Cheney and other corporations filthy stinking rich. Try comparing that to ending third world staus like Obama has done. Every country that has brought healthcare to their people has seen a few bumps after is has passed, but look out for huge approval once all the one million lies Republicans have put forth about the bill start to crumble and fade. Dens just did one of the best things in US history and time will see this as a great accomplishment and Republicans are forever tarnished as liars that did nothing to help their country.

    March 26, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Brian

    This guy is a clown and a liar. And to blame Democrats for the violence that has ocurred (when it has been directed at Democrats!) is just beyond ridiculous.

    March 26, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. HypocriCNNation!

    NEWS FLASH!: In The Political Olympic Games Today, Eric Cantor Has Come Up Lame (...Gymp And Limp) With Bending And Stretching The Truth...Yet Again! IN OTHER NEWS!: HypocriCNNation Has Won Yet Another Dubious Honor Of The "Gullable!" Reporting Award For Being So Ignorant To Believe And Report Such Nonsense!

    March 26, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Scottyrw

    What a wimp! Go on TV to say the Democrats aren't the only ones getting threatened, because someone shot a bullet through his window at the office (lie). Almost sounds like George Wallace years ago complaining that the minorities are whinning to much and his feelings are getting hurt too! Give me a break, Cantor!

    March 26, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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