Congressmen, aides, and Capital Police all woke up, probably planning to have a normal mid-week baseball practice and work day. Their plans were abruptly changed when their day became all about survival after a gunman opened fire on a baseball practice in progress.
Those present described a scene of horror, the likes of which most of us pray we’ll never be apart of. Congressmen and aides alike were sent running for their lives. Senator Rand Paul of KY tells his first-hand account of what happened.
Via The Hill:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was in the cage waiting for one more turn at the plate when shots rained down on the field, hitting Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and at least four other people.
Paul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he probably heard 50 to 60 shots and saw Scalise “trying to drag himself through the dirt out into the outfield.”
Paul described a frightening scene at the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., with shots landing near aides who had taken cover on the field. One staffer, he said, scrambled over a fence to get away from the fire.
Paul, who couldn’t see the gunman from his position, said he believed the shooter reloaded, and he described the gun as sounding like an AR-15.
Paul’s report would suggest that those affected were actually targeted and that this was a very specific attack on the Republicans that would be at that park today.
(The Hill) Capitol Police were at the scene because of the presence of Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in GOP leadership.
“If Scalise wouldn’t have been on the team — unfortunately, he was hit and I hope he does well — but also by him being there it probably saved everybody else’s life because if you don’t have a leadership person there, there would have been so security there,” Paul said.
“They do a great job. These are brave men and women, and we were really lucky they were there,” he said.
Paul said it is common for GOP lawmakers to get to the field as early as 6:15 a.m. He said people know that lawmakers practice at the field, and described a normal morning in which dog walkers and other early risers share pleasantries in the morning.
Sadly, the lives of many congressmen will probably also be affected by this event. People who thought it was OK to walk around like normal citizens and be proud to serve their country will now be fearing for their lives.
While others may have targeted this group because of who they are, rank and profile become much less important when bullets are flying. At a time like that, we’re all just humans trying to stay alive.
(Source: The Hill)