A Michigan member of Congress says he and some of his colleagues felt they were “hunted like prey” when shooting erupted during a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
At least five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, were hit by gunfire.
The Republican members of Congress were preparing for an annual baseball game with their Democratic counterparts when a man with a rifle began firing dozens of shots at them from behind a fence surrounding the field.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) was at the scene and says the gunman was blocking the one exit from the field.
“He had us pinned down and he would’ve hit every single one of us,” Bishop says. “Without question in my mind, he would’ve got all of us but for the fact that we had one car full of security detail here that was able to return fire.”
U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) was among those targeted by the spray of gunfire at the baseball field near Washington, DC.
Bergman says, “I was next in line, standing next to the batting cage, standing right by home plate. The first shot rang out and it was kind of a surprise. But then a couple of seconds later the second shot rang out. And I was a Marine for 40 years so I know the sound of gunfire. People started scrambling, somebody yelled ‘Shooter!’ “
Bergman says he saw that Scalise had suffered a gunshot wound to his hip.
“I knew Scalise was on the field ‘cause I heard somebody yell that. And there were others already out there,” Bergman says. “I ran out to right behind second base. He was on the grass. And Dr. (Brad) Wenstrup, one of our Congressmen, and Sen. (Jeff) Flake were administering to him. I just spent a couple seconds there, helped remove his belt ‘cause they were getting ready to apply a tourniquet. Then I went on to check other wounded.”
Officials say five people were hit, including Scalise, a Congressional aide and a lobbyist who had worked for lawmakers in Lansing.
The alleged shooter, identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois, later died after exchanging gunfire with police.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT,) who says he is sickened by the incident, notes that Hodgkinson had worked as a volunteer for his presidential campaign.
Witnesses say a man matching Hodgkinson’s description had earlier asked them if Republicans or Democrats were practicing on the field. When told it was GOP lawmakers, he headed for the field.