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Richmond police investigate shot fired at Cantor's office

Anita Kumar

Richmond police are investigating a shot fired at U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's downtown office on Main Street early Tuesday when no one was in the building.

A police statement this afternoon said that a preliminary investigation shows that a bullet struck a window, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the window but did not penetrate the blinds.

Cantor's office is in a small building several blocks from the heart of downtown, near the historic Jefferson Hotel. It has several small offices in it, of which Cantor's is one.There are no Cantor signs on the doors or windows.

Various Republican candidates have occupied the offices in the historic Reagan Building through the years, including former governor Jim Gilmore.

At a news conference earlier today, Cantor angrily lashed out at Democratic leaders for their handling of reported threats against members of Congress.

"I've received threats since I assumed elected office, not only because of my position but also because I'm Jewish,'' he said. "I've never blamed anyone in this body for that, period. Any suggestion that a leader in this body would incite threats or acts against other members is akin to saying that I would endanger myself, my wife or my children."

Cantor said at the news conference that his office was shot at and he has received threatening e-mails, but it is unclear whether he reported the incidents to police immediately. Calls to Cantor's Capitol Hill office were not immediately returned this afternoon.

Currently there are no suspects in the case, and it is unclear whether the bullet was targeted at the office or simply landed there at random. Police say a single detective is assigned to investigate the incident.

By Anita Kumar  |  March 25, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Eric Cantor  
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The Republicans do not have black officeholders they can use as shields, so they put Cantor out there to prostitute being Jewish instead. (People are tired of seeing Michael Steele play the same quisling role.) But, this effort to deflect does nothing to counter the fact that Republican representatives encouraged tea party protesters who verbally and physically assaulted black and gay Congressmen.

Posted by: query0 | March 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

A bullet that goes through a single window and does not have the force to penetrate a curtain sounds like one that was fired from a LOOONNGG way off. This sounds like a case of a stray bullet happening to go through someone's window because of carelessness rather than ill intent. The question is was it a small caliber fired from 1/2 mile away or a large caliber fired from 1 mile away.

Even still I would be alarmed if I were in that office or if I were in the FBI. Bricks or stray bullets going through congressmen's windows should be taken seriously.

Posted by: kgoolsby | March 25, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

If this incident was politically motivated, then it's simply deplorable. At the same time, it speaks more to the need to calm down the debate--not to lashing out and inciting more violence.

Posted by: ViennaBelle | March 25, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I work in Richmond. There are a bunch of windows shot out in Richmond at night. Check the crime stats for this neighborhood. This is not surprising, but, may not be associated with political issues.

Posted by: mihkntoyu | March 25, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
Whatever goes around, comes around.
Fly with the crows, get shot with the crows,

Posted by: mikegordon1 | March 25, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice to know that all those guns out there are being handled by responsible people, who know when and where to discharge them!

Posted by: nihao1 | March 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

According to the Richmond paper, the bullet struck Cantor's window on a downward trajectory. Unless there's a building across the street that's higher, this suggests that the bullet was a stray fired into the air by some 2nd Amendment enthusiast rather than by someone with animus against Cantor.

Posted by: edallan | March 25, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Spin much? The bullet was shot into the air not at his office. When did FOX take over the Washington Post?

Posted by: azdem | March 25, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

No surprise the tea party is really the republican party or what's left of it. Now its a haven for racist and bigot to target political figures. That's it, nothing else. Check out this article on the tea party exploitation of the conservative agenda, its pretty interesting

Posted by: republicanblack | March 25, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"I shot a bullet into the air,
It fell to earth, I know not where.
But soon I heard where it came down --
With a thud on the floor of a GOP clown."

(With apologies to H. W. Longfellow)

Posted by: laboo | March 25, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post might want to re-qrite its headline to this article, because according to the statement issued by Richmond police this afternoon:

"A preliminary investigation shows 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 windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds."

So, unless the shooter is a ballistics expert in the field of parabolic trajectories, this was apparently a random shot fired straight into the air that happened to hit the building in question on its way down.

Not to minimize the gravity of such cavalier irresponsibility on the part of the shooter in question, but Cantor is simply trolling for sympathy by promoting a random act of firearms irresponsibility as a false equivalency for the abuse heaped upon a not-insignificant number of Democrats. The House Minority Whip's full of it - again.

Posted by: dkoelper | March 25, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Guess what, Eric. The rightwing extremists hate Jews almost as much as they hate 'arrogant' Kenyan-Americans.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 25, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The TEA party has already set the stage for violence this year with their propaganda.
The incidents occur and then they issue press statements condemning them, then more incidents followed by more press denials.
This is their modus operandi and it has been used by other violent organizations like the Ku Klux Klan in the past. The TEA party itself is not comparable to the Klan but their tactics certainly are. The harassment of a man with Parkinson's in Ohio, the use of the N word directed at John Lewis and other black lawmakers and Gay slurs directed at Barney Frank are secretly encouraged by TEA party leadership. Violent rhetoric has incited violence by it's members over which the TEA party has no control, nor does it want any.
This is the way they plan to "take back America".

Posted by: seemstome | March 25, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Richmond Police have come out and said this was a random shooting in the air and the bullet stuck the window on the way back to the ground. The shot did not appear to be aimed at the office. Furthermore, this office belongs one of his mail consultants, not Cantor. His office is in Henrico a neighboring county. He is stretching in more ways than one and Richmond Police are poking holes in it.

Posted by: mihkntoyu | March 25, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans do not have black officeholders they can use as shields, so they put Cantor out there to prostitute being Jewish instead. (People are tired of seeing Michael Steele play the same quisling role.) But, this effort to deflect does nothing to counter the fact that Republican representatives encouraged tea party protesters who verbally and physically assaulted black and gay Congressmen.
Where did you get your information from, MSNBC or one of the other mouthpieces of the DNC? The Tea Party Protesters have been exercising their rights of free speech and are overwhelmingly a peaceful group; however, the Tea Party Movement have been infiltrated by both those that want to move it away from its expressed purpose and those that want to make it look bad by doing hateful, stupid things, such as what the Left claimed happened in Washington to the Dem lawmakers.

Posted by: DL13 | March 25, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

There are extreme elements on both sides. One side is no worst than the other. If caught they should receive the punishment they deserve.

Posted by: farmsnorton | March 25, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I am outraged and terrified by the mindless violence that is being incited by Pelosi and her stooge Professor Oboobma.

Posted by: thebump | March 25, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

First, I have to say that the left accusing the right of racial bigotry and hatred is sickening. It is not true. It seems to be their lame excuse to attack the right for anything that doesn't agree with them.

Secondly, I doubt there were credible violent threats. I have more faith in our American people than that; if they really wanted to hurt someone they could, and would, and wouldn't need to threaten anyone.

Lastly, this is a media distraction. The "threats" are to take away the heat of the unconstitutional bill that got passed and get the people to feel sorry for the very people who promoted it. At the same time trying to diminish the Tea Party movement.

Americans can see through the lies and distortion.

Posted by: JBfromFL | March 26, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like, "Oh look, we got fired at too. See, see, there are loonies on both sides." Maybe they should have checked Cantor for gunpowder traces.

Posted by: bcause | March 26, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Will Cantor now become an advocate of gun control?

Posted by: HughBriss | March 26, 2010 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Ugh! How did I get duped into hitting a WaPo website when I recently gave up contributing my one-thousandth-of-a-cent per view contribution to their disgusting bottom (feeder) line and the supporting the wretched bullstuff they carry? Damn you Google!!!!

This IS interesting though. Not all bimbo's, male or female, are blond.

Sure Ms. Kumar, it's all the same, Cantor and his pals are VICTIMS! VICTIMS I TELL YOU! (Cantor's story does NOT pass the smell test. It's rank.)

Stop it. Wake up. You are giving succor to those who've advocated violence. Unless you're willing to take responsibility for their actions just stop it.

Posted by: pclement1 | March 26, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Please edit to change your headline. It was not Cantor's office and the shot was not fired at it. Cantor is deliberately lying to manufacture a false equivalency excuse for teabagger terrorists.

Posted by: SnidelyWhiplash | March 26, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Blinds absorb a lot of energy. The bullet was intended for Cantor's office and should be tested for ballistics so that the gun which fired it can be identified if ever located.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 26, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Even the police don't believe that Cantor was a victim. Says a lot about why he didn't report it right away. Please!

Posted by: candycane1 | March 26, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

This man is such a whining weenie ...

Posted by: gitouttahere | March 26, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who finds it suspicious that the dems paraded Pelossi through the protestors to the house chamber as if to taunt them prior to voting away more of our freedom? That is not the route they normally take to chambers.

Frankly, I would not be surprised if the name calling and spitting was staged by our "leaders" so the they could claim they were "brave" even though threatened.

Posted by: jaded5 | March 26, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Well,Cantor, if you're recieving threats because you're Jewish I suggest you look at the Tea Party thugs you embarce.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

stray bullet. hey, its VA!!

Posted by: mloaks | March 26, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Where's Waldo?

Posted by: rooster54 | March 26, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Post: "it is unclear whether the bullet was targeted at the office or simply landed there at random."

Actually, the Richmond police have already concluded that it WAS random -- and had to be, since the bullet was fired up into the air and came DOWN on the window.

All I can say is that when the teabaggers finally launch their violent revolution, I hope they have the decency not to kill me first -- so I can watch them shoot the "liberal" corporate media wh*res who peddle mindless garbage like Cantor's "shooting" story.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | March 26, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

what the heck...Shooting here...shooting there...this is America what....

Posted by: blafouille | March 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The Richmond police have now clearly stated that it was a random firing and was not a targeting of Cantor's office.

This guy is supposed to be their communicator? It's not very media savvy to tell a lie that can be checked.

This is the best they got? They're doomed.

Posted by: basket | March 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are just looking for cover from their close association to the tea party. Do the republican dirty work as a tea partier. I think someone just threw a bullet threw the window. Look at the window. Did it have a bullet hole or was it broken as if a rock had been thrown threw it. Republicans whip up anger, fear and rage over the health legislation lies told by them and then look for cover as the carnage they wrought is displayed. Shame!

Posted by: usdeww | March 26, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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