During an emotional interview with reporters after a shooting at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field where Congressional Republicans were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, Texas Rep. Joe Barton said there were “dozens, if not hundreds of shots fired.” During the shooting, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip.
In the interview, Barton was clearly still shaken by the incident, choking up with his son Jack by his side. Barton said that some of the members went to the dugout and he got behind the dugout. His son slid under an SUV.
Barton said that the suspect first shot at Mississippi Rep. Trent Kelly, their third baseman, then at Scalise, who was at second. Scalise was struck in the hip. At this point, Scalise’s personal security detail and U.S. Capitol Police began firing back. Alexandria police also arrived at the scene by this time.
“I think the security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter,” Barton told the reporters. “So the heroes are the Capitol Hill police, Alexandria police and Steve Scalise’s security detail.”
Barton described the suspect as a white, middle-aged man wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt. “He had a rifle and, I think he had an automatic pistol, but I wouldn’t swear to that,” he added.
The comments line-up with what Arizona Senator Jeff Flake told CNN. He said that “50 (shots) would be an understatement, I’m quite sure,” when describing the number of shots fired by the suspect and by U.S. Capitol Police officers. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said they were like “sitting ducks” at the ball field.
Including Scalise and the suspect, five people were injured and rushed to area hospitals. Two U.S. Capitol police officers and an aide to Texas Rep. Roger Williams were also injured. The staffer was identified as Zachary Barth.
In a statement form his office, Scalise’s staff said he is in “stable condition” and still undergoing surgery.
The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. President Donald Trump said that Hodgkinson died of his injuries.