Ram­page vic­tims

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVID SHERFINSKI AND TOM HOW­ELL JR.

Scalise shot in hip, lay bleed­ing on ball­field as gun­bat­tle raged around him.

House Ma­jor­ity Whip Steve Scalise was field­ing ground balls near sec­ond base on the base­ball di­a­mond Wed­nes­day, mak­ing him one of the first tar­gets for the gun­man who at­tempted a mur­der­ous ram­page Wed­nes­day.

Shot in the hip, Mr. Scalise lay bleed­ing on the field as a gun­bat­tle raged around him, leav­ing a streak of blood as he crawled from the in­field, wait­ing for help.

As the third-rank­ing Repub­li­can in the House, Mr. Scalise has a pro­tec­tive se­cu­rity de­tail, which re­sponded to the shoot­ing, sav­ing the lives of dozens of law­mak­ers and staffers gath­ered for a morn­ing prac­tice.

An avid sports fan, Mr. Scalise has also rou­tinely been part of the an­nual con­gres­sional base­ball game, which will take place as planned Thurs­day.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wed­nes­day that Mr. Scalise is likely “re­ally frus­trated” that he’ll have to miss this year’s game. Par­tic­i­pants are re­port­edly plan­ning to wear Louisiana State Univer­sity gear at the game in his honor.

“He’s very proud of his Louisiana her­itage,” said Rep. Leonard Lance, New Jersey Repub­li­can, who says Mr. Scalise oc­ca­sion­ally takes con­gress­men out for Ca­jun food in D.C. “He’s very pop­u­lar.”

Mr. Scalise was out of surgery in crit­i­cal con­di­tion as of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to MedS­tar Wash­ing­ton Hos­pi­tal Cen­ter.

Mr. Scalise’s of­fice said a sin­gle ri­fle shot trav­eled through his left hip, frac­tur­ing bones, dam­ag­ing or­gans, which caused se­vere bleed­ing. He re­ceived mul­ti­ple blood trans­fu­sions and his crit­i­cal con­di­tion will re­quire ad­di­tional oper­a­tions.

Pres­i­dent Trump and first lady Me­la­nia Trump vis­ited Mr. Scalise in the hos­pi­tal Wed­nes­day night, with Mrs. Trump bring­ing flow­ers.

Af­ter the visit, Mr. Trump took to Twit­ter to say that Mr. Scalise “is in very tough shape.”

“But he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!” Mr. Trump wrote.

Also wounded in the as­sault was Zachary Barth, a leg­isla­tive correspondent for Rep. Roger Wil­liams, who was in the out­field col­lect­ing balls when the shoot­ing ram­page be­gan.

Mr. Wil­liams, a Texas Repub­li­can who has coached the GOP team since 2013, said in a se­ries of Twit­ter posts that Mr. Barth was ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery. Mr. Wil­liams also asked the pub­lic to re­spect the pri­vacy of Mr. Barth and his fam­ily.

Mr. Barth, a 2015 grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Texas at Austin, also worked on the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of for­mer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and is a for­mer staffer for for­mer Rep. Randy Neuge­bauer, Texas Repub­li­can.

Mr. Wil­liams hurt his own an­kle div­ing into the dugout to try to es­cape the gun­man’s fire. He was on crutches Wed­nes­day evening.

Matt Mika, a for­mer Repub­li­can con­gres­sional staffer and cur­rent lob­by­ist for Tyson Foods who vol­un­teers to help the base­ball team, was shot mul­ti­ple times, in­clud­ing a wound to the chest.

Mr. Wil­liams said Mr. Mika ap­peared to be re­cov­er­ing, though Mr. Mika’s fam­ily said in a state­ment late Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon that he was still in the in­ten­sive care unit in crit­i­cal con­di­tion and was ex­pected to stay there for at least sev­eral days.

He earned a master’s de­gree from West­ern Michi­gan Univer­sity and worked as a leg­isla­tive aide, first in Michi­gan’s state leg­is­la­ture and then on Capi­tol Hill, serv­ing with then-Rep. Dave Camp and then with Rep. Tim Wal­berg, Michi­gan Repub­li­can, be­fore en­ter­ing the pri­vate sec­tor in 2009, ac­cord­ing to his LinkedIn page. Mr. Wal­berg de­scribed him as a “dear friend.” “This is deeply per­sonal and [my wife] Sue and I are pray­ing for Matt as he re­ceives med­i­cal at­ten­tion,” the con­gress­man said.

The two U.S. Capi­tol Hill Po­lice of­fi­cers hailed as he­roes who were in­jured in the shoot­ing were Spe­cial Agent David Bai­ley and Spe­cial Agent Crys­tal Griner.

Capi­tol Po­lice Chief Matthew Verderosa said the two of­fi­cers were in “good con­di­tion” and their in­juries weren’t life-threat­en­ing.

Law­mak­ers on the field de­scribed Agent Bai­ley as hav­ing been wounded yet still re­turn­ing fire on the gun­man, ad­vanc­ing on him and — per­haps — be­ing the one to bring him down. Agent Bai­ley then came to check on Mr. Scalise, be­fore con­gress­men con­vinced him to get checked out him­self.

He’s a grad­u­ate of North Carolina Cen­tral Univer­sity and has been with the U.S. Capi­tol Po­lice for about eight years, ac­cord­ing to his LinkedIn page.

Mr. Ryan said he spoke with both of­fi­cers Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“I ex­pressed our pro­found grat­i­tude to them. It is clear to me, based on eye­wit­ness ac­counts, that with­out these he­roes, Agents Bai­ley and Griner, many lives would have been lost,” Mr. Ryan said in a floor speech.

They had been sent as Mr. Scalise’s pro­tec­tive de­tail, and wit­nesses said the scene would likely have been a lot worse had a mem­ber of the con­gres­sional lead­er­ship and his as­so­ci­ated of­fi­cers not been on the scene.

“Many peo­ple likely would have died this morn­ing if not for the brav­ery of the Capi­tol Po­lice,” said Sen. Rand Paul, Ken­tucky Repub­li­can, who fled a bat­ting cage and took refuge be­hind a tree near right field dur­ing the at­tack.

Oth­ers said a twist of fate kept them safe. Rep. Ryan Costello of Penn­syl­va­nia missed his ride to prac­tice with Rep. Rod­ney Davis of Illi­nois and other play­ers by about two min­utes early Wed­nes­day, only to get an “ugly jolt” when he saw news re­ports.

“I would have been in the line of fire,” Mr. Costello, clearly emo­tional, told re­porters at the Capi­tol.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Rep. Roger Wil­liams, Texas Repub­li­can, was wounded dur­ing a shoot­ing in Alexandria, Vir­ginia, on Wed­nes­day. He was us­ing crutches later that night.

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