By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Arlington resident Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba was discussing pediatric research with congressional staffers when the alarms literally sounded. De Cuba works for Boston University’s School of Public Health and travels to Washington, D.C. frequently to meet with policymakers. Never before had she experienced anything like this.

“I was there with a colleague and we didn’t know what was going on,” she says, “but all the staff started to get very nervous.”

Her first instinct was to leave, but then came the order to stay put and to keep away from windows and doors.

“Outside of the building there were swarms of police with huge machine guns, and that was creepy to be totally honest,” De Cuba explains. “It was scary.”

Anyone outside was immediately sent back in. That includes our own Junior Senator, Ed Markey, who was walking just a couple hundred yards from the scene without at first realizing it.

“A police officer just started running towards me,” Markey explained to WBZ in a satellite interview from the nation’s capital. “She said that shots had just been fired and that we should move quickly back indoors.”

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Moments in lockdown, De Cuba says, were mostly spent glued to television coverage of the unfolding drama. And when it was done, she explains, there was a strange sense of community.

“Normally when you pass staff in the hallway you know you don’t really acknowledge strangers but everybody was sort of like, ‘Wow, made it through that one.’ There was sort of a camaraderie, like ‘Whew, we just missed something that could have been worse, could have been bigger.’”

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