Dozens of Treasure Coast activists were just finishing up rallying for clean water outside the Nation's Capital Thursday when they heard the gunshots.
"I was scared to death. I didn't know what was going on," Nyla Pipes said.
Pipes quickly realized the situation was serious.
"I heard pop, pop, pop. I looked around and I could see the look in people's eyes and I knew it was serious," Pipes said.
The gunshots were from a police officer shooting at a driver who tried to run into the White House and then took off toward the Capital according to investigators.
"I was looking around thinking…we are in the Capitol, there are a bunch of police running around, this is crazy," Water Activist Steve Edmones said.
That's when the group says they bumped into Congressman Patrick Murphy.
"He led us away from danger. I was so impressed with the leadership, his calmness, and his demeanor," St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky said.
Congressman Murphy took the group to a safe location near his office building.
"The fact is we came here to tell a story and by the end of the day we had another crisis," Dzadovsky said.
Some in the group were supposed to fly back Thursday night, but decided to stay because they were still processing what happened.