Quick Thinking, Fast Shooting Prevented Massacre in Alexandria

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was at the practice with his 10-year-old son.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was at the practice with his 10-year-old son.

Three Capitol Police officers’ quick thinking and fast shooting saved members of Congress from a gunman early Wednesday morning at their baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was wounded in the attack and listed in critical condition a day later at the hospital.

One of the officers, Special Agent Crystal Griner, was wounded in the ankle, said Chief Matthew R. Verdosa.

But Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) told WWJ Radio in Detroit that the heroic response foiled a massacre.

“The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover,” Bishop said.

Scalise, along with various Republican colleagues, are members of a baseball team that was practicing Wednesday morning at a park on East Monroe Avenue for an upcoming charity game.

Bishop said they all were “sitting ducks” when a gunman approached and sprayed the field with rifle fire.

“We were inside the backstop,” he added, “and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit—every single one of us.”

Special Agents David Bailey and Henry Cabrera also returned fire, Chief Verdosa said. Alexandria police officers joined the fray, according to a joint press release from police and the FBI.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was at the practice with his 10-year-old son. He said that he was “very grateful” for the officers’ protection.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.).

“They attacked the shooter (and) that’s what saved our lives,” Barton said.

“The thin blue line held today,” said an emotional U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, the team’s coach, at a news conference. “My family and I will be forever grateful.”

Williams, a standout ballplayer at TCU during the 1960s, is the coach of the GOP’s ball team. He came to the press conference on crutches.

The gunman, James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was mortally wounded and died at the hospital. He reportedly made far left-wing rants on social media before the shooting.

Post-shooting media coverage swirled with commentary about how political rancor from last year’s presidential election may have fueled the rampage.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), also a member of the ball team and a survivor of the shooting, called for civility.

“The over-the-top, hateful rhetoric that has consumed politics, on both sides, has to stop,” Davis said. “We can have thoughtful debate on the issues, and at times disagree, but we cannot forget that we are all represented by the same flag and the freedom it represents.’’

“Thank God for the Capitol Hill police,” said Matt Kilgo, a program lawyer for U.S. Law Shield of Georgia.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, the GOP team's coach.
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, the GOP team’s coach.

“You could tell there was going to be some backlash,” Kilgo said in a Facebook interview with Sam Malone of U.S. Law Shield LIVE. “(But) anything that puts firearms and our Second Amendment rights in proper perspective in the media I think is a good thing.”

“I’m glad it went the way it did and they were able to save as many lives as they did.”

Click here to see the discussion between Kilgo and Malone.

—By Bill Miller, U.S. Law Shield contributor

4 comments on “Quick Thinking, Fast Shooting Prevented Massacre in Alexandria

  • Three police officers present – still this madman was able to fire and shoot the people they were supposed to protect ! Those three should be fired and replaced with dedicated law enforcement officers who are always on the ready ! A police officer is never off duty ! Don’t use Secret Service either !

  • Marshall Bennett says:

    Let us also be thankful that Hodgkinson was no rifleman. Had he used an M14 instead of a Soviet bloc rifle firing an intermediate cartridge, and if he had been disciplined and laid down aimed fire, many would have died, likely including the armed responders. Never forget what a rifle can do in the hands of a skilled rifleman.

  • Donna Donaldson says:

    This whole incident should remind us Republican how violent and full of rage the Democrats are toward us. I think we better get smart and all get permits to carry a concealed gun. One never knows these days when we will need to protect our family and our fellow man. The lawlessness will not go away. It will just get worse – it is the signs of the last days.

  • This is exactly what made the difference, armed response, compared to Paris when over 200 were slaughtered like sheep. Wake up world, predators are out to get you. They have intentions and will and we need to be prepared. I wish it wasn’t so, but until you eliminate hate you will always have the problem.

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