House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) identified two Capitol Police officers who stopped a shooter from massacring Republican congressmen at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
He identified them as Special Agent David Bailey and Special Agent Crystal Griner. Both were wounded, however Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said they are in good condition and their injuries are not life-threatening.
“Without these two heroes, Agent Bailey and Agent Griner, many lives would have been lost,” Ryan said, addressing the House.
Officers Bailey and Griner were providing security for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), when shooter James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. opened fire on the congressmen who were practicing for an annual charity baseball game on Thursday.
Scalise was shagging balls at second base when the gunman opened fire, according to eyewitnesses. Scalise was shot in the hip, and dragged himself from the infield to the outfield. As a member of House leadership, he is provided with a security detail.
Officers fired back at Hodgkinson, and took him down after he came out from behind a building near home plate with a pistol, according to Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), who was at the practice.
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), who was at the scene, said he first noticed a “bystander” who would later be the gunman at the third base dugout. Moments later, shots began and he saw Hodgkinson with a rifle aiming and shooting from behind a building.
“I saw the Capitol Police returning fire. They bravely moved into harm’s way. I know one of them was injured, I saw that. I think the other one also took a wound,” he said. “The Capitol Police were able to take the gunman out.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was also at the practice, told Fox News “without them it would have been a massacre.”
Many Democrats also praised the Capitol Police for saving lives.
— Michael Bennet (@SenBennetCO) June 14, 2017
I am so grateful for our brave @CapitolPolice officers & first responders who were on scene and acted quickly – they literally saved lives.
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) June 14, 2017