ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Congressional baseball practice for an upcoming charity game turned to chaos, when a shooter open fired on Republicans practicing Wednesday.
Congressman Mark Walker from the Triad was at the practice. He says if those special agents hadn't been there, he believes many could've been killed. He said he's especially troubled to think were targeted.
Walker said the suspect approached a lawmaker who was leaving the field and asked if it was the Republican team practicing.
“He then proceeded to go behind third-base dugout, it looked like there was a couple weapons - long-range rifles,” Walker said, “And he first fired at our third baseman Trent Kelly from Mississippi, he missed [him.] But Trent is a former colonel in the U.S. Army, and that's when he screamed ‘shooter.; The guys were trying to make it to the first base dugout, but that's when the second shot rang out and hit Steve Scalise, our third baseman and Whip, third in charge of the Republican Congress.”
Congressman Walker says Scalise then tried to crawl from the field. Meantime, he says three to four dozen more rounds were fired before the agents stepped in.
After a day of prayer, and tears, he says it's a miracle only the shooter ended up dead.
“But it was a reminder, that some of the rhetoric that's being used, whether inside the halls of Congress, or outside – we've got a think about our tone, and our spirit and our heart as far as, for some, how this may rev people up to a place where they do such irrational things and show such behavior,” he said.
The event itself will take on a more somber tone tomorrow. And the gun violence, he says, is a reminder something must change.
“Today I thought of, just two days ago we talked about the tragedy in Orlando and honor the victims’ families who were part of that,” he said, “It just seems like there's way too much of this that's going on, and I don't know that I have a great answer of how we end it.”
Representative Walker says lawmakers will now need to consider beefing up security, especially when they're at public events.