Senate Democrats

Reid Pays Tribute To Fallen Capitol Police Officers On Ninth Anniversary Of Shooting

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in honor of the two Capitol Police Officers killed on duty nine years ago today:

“Some of my colleagues know that when I attended George Washington Law School many years ago, I worked full time on the swing – or night shift – as a Capitol Police Officer.  My service as a Capitol Policeman was not one where I did anything courageous or notable.  Nine years ago today, two officers did just that.

“Nine years ago today, two Capitol Police Officers – Special Agent John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut – were stationed by the East entrance on the House side.  At 3:40 in the afternoon, a man with a gun tried to force his way past them.  When Officer Chestnut blocked his path, the gunman shot him point-blank in the chest.  Special Agent Gibson then warned the nearby tourists and staff to seek cover.  He chased the gunman down the hallway, where they exchanged fire.  One tourist was hit but not seriously wounded.

“Despite valiant efforts to keep them alive, Special Agent Gibson and Officer Chestnut died from their wounds.  They died courageously.  They died with valor. 

“A plaque has been placed in this Capitol building where the confrontation started, and their names are carved in the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial.

“I knew Agent Gibson.  During a retreat to Virginia, he came to care for my wife when she became ill during the night.  I remember how he ran to her side.  I remember how kind and gentle he was with her.  I didn’t know Officer Chestnut other than by face and with greetings whenever we met.  His reputation was outstanding and his actions that day proved his enormous strength of character.

“I think of the brave officers who protect me every day, whose skill and hard work I see firsthand every day.  I think of all the law enforcement men and women who keep this building – and those who serve within it – safe.  I am grateful beyond words.

“So on this somber anniversary, we will lay a wreath and observe a moment of silence for the two heroic men we lost.  Our thoughts and our hearts are with the families of Special Agent Gibson and Officer Chestnut.  We hope that it is some comfort to them that the names and deeds of their loved ones will be remembered forever with the deepest gratitude and the utmost respect.”