UPDATED: Reports of recent threats against elected officials

Eric Cantor's office
Eric Cantor's office

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Republicans say they too have been the victims of attempted violence and vandalism that have menaced House Democrats since passage of landmark health care legislation.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia said at a news conference that someone shot a bullet through a window of his campaign office in Richmond and said he has received threatening e-mail.

Cantor attributed the actions to his being in the House GOP leadership and being Jewish.

Richmond Police Department is investigating an act of vandalism at the Reagan Building, 25 E. Main Street.  A first floor window was struck by a bullet at approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday.  The building, which has several tenants including an office used by Congressman Eric Cantor, was unoccupied at the time.

A Richmond Police detective was assigned to the case.  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.  There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman.

The Richmond Police Department is sharing information about the incident with appropriate law enforcement agencies.

This comes after news that the FBI is investigating recent threats to 10 democratic lawmakers -- all apparently targeted by opponents of health reform.

Bricks have been thrown through windows and a propane line was cut at the home of the brother of Virginia congressman Tom Periello, a democrat. The address was listed as the lawmaker's home.

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office and the FBI are confirming details regarding an act of vandalism which was reported on March 23 at 303 Heron Drive in Peacock Hills in the Ivy area of Albemarle County, according to a press release.

The act of vandalism was discovered by residents who returned home and smelled gas and then discovered that the supply hose connecting a liquid petroleum tank to burners on a portable gas grill was severed.  The grill was located on a deck adjacent to a screened porch on the back of the house.

Investigators believe that this was a deliberate act of vandalism and that the supply hose was intentionally cut.  While there was no immediate threat to the residence and its occupants, investigators believe the leaking gas could have posed a danger had there been an ignition source nearby. Investigators collected physical evidence from the scene and have interviewed the victim and nearby residents.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has condemned vandalism and threats of violence against members of Congress in connection with the health care issue, saying such reprisals "must be rejected."

She told a news conference Thursday that "I don't want this to be a distraction," but also said that such behavior has "no place in a civil debate in our country."

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