The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here (security detail traveling with Scalise) had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. We were inside the backstop 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. He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank." --Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop
They were sitting ducks!
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY said, "I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have … [The Capitol Police] deserve our gratitude for saving — it would have been a massacre without them."
Witnesses described the harrowing scene. The rifle-armed gunman, James T. Hodgkinson appeared to have been deliberately targeting Republicans. In fact, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News that as he was walking to his car, a man (Hodgkinson) approached him and asked if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing on the field.
Congressman Mo Brooks, R-TN, told CNN in an interview:
"Behind third base, I see a rifle...I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream," Brooks said. "...While all of this is going on, Steve Scalise our whip was lying on the ground near the second base position crawling into right field, leaving a trail of blood."
He praised the heroic actions of the Capitol Police officer who risked his life after being shot to take down the shooter.
I was on deck about to hit batting practice on the third base side of home plate and I hear a loud bam, I look around and behind third base in the third base dug out, which is cinder block, I see a rifle. And I see a little bit of a body and then I hear another blam and I realize there is an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise over near second base scream. He was shot. He's our majority whip.
The gun was a semiautomatic. It continues to fire at different people. You can imagine all the people in the field scatter. I run around to the first base side of home plate and we have a batting cage that's got plastic wrapped around it to stop foul balls, and hide behind the plastic. You know that plastic's not real good. I was lying on the ground with two or three others as gunfire continues. I heard a break in the gunfire and decided to take a chance. Ran from home plate to the first base dugout, which is also cinder block and down about two or three feet so you have better cover. There were a number of congressmen and congressional staffers who help us lying on the ground.
One of them was wounded in the leg. Took off my belt and myself and another congressman applied a tourniquet to try to slow down the bleeding. In the meantime, I'm towards the right field side of the dugout and there is gunfire within about five or six, seven feet to my head.
I look up and there's a guy with a gun blasting away, Fortunately, it was one of the good guys — one of our security detail who was shooting back. Of course, it was pistol versus rifle — our pistols versus the shooters rifle — along the third baseline just outside the chain link fence and he was ordering us to stay down.
He was shot in the leg, and yet, he still charged forward!
Time and time again, law enforcement officers have put their lives on the line— running forward into the fight, putting their lives on the line to keep us all safe.
It has been reported that both officers are in "good condition,” however, it should be noted that it is now being reported that Rep. Scalise, R-LA is in critical condition following surgery. The condition of Roger Williams’, R-TX, staff member who was shot is unknown at this time.