Ohio Congressman provides medical aid to injured colleague –
By Mark Carpenter –
It started out on Wednesday morning as a day of fun for some of America’s members of Congress, but didn’t stay that way for very long. Practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game at a field in Alexandria, Va., the group of GOP lawmakers suddenly found themselves under fire from a single gunman, wielding a rifle and pistol, according to witnesses.
One of the heroes of the day was Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup, who used his experience as a combat surgeon in Iraq to give medical attention to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), who was injured during the shooting. According to reports, Wenstrup ran to Scalise, who had made his way into the outfield area, then put pressure on the wound and made sure that Scalise remained hydrated.
“The gunman was firing all over the place and there were a lot of rounds being fired and it was hard to tell who was actually doing the shooting,” said Congressman Wenstrup after the attack, “People were taking cover wherever they could and the gunman was moving, he was an active shooter. He moved from one position to another where he had protection, behind the dugout and behind a building and at the end he came out with a pistol. Apparently they police had wounded him and then he was on the ground and they yelled at him ‘Don’t move, don’t move, don’t move!’”
“Once I felt they had him secured, Senator Jeff Flake and myself ran to Steve Scalise and started to help him. Steve was as brave as he could possibly be and we made sure that we got him as much fluid as we could before help came with an IV.”
The entire scene was described as chaotic by all who were present, with the Congressmen running for cover in dugouts or over outfield fences. “We had nothing but baseball bats to fight back against a rifle with,” said one Congressman. Besides Scalise, four others were reported injured but none suffered life-threatening injuries, though Scalise did undergo successful surgery on his wounded hip on Wednesday afternoon.
Witnesses report that the fast action of the Capitol Police helped keep the situation from being much worse.
“”Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said on CNN. “It would have been a massacre without them.”
The gunman, identified as 66-year old James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., died later at a nearby hospital from his injuries.
“”You never expect a baseball field in America to feel like being back in a combat zone in Iraq, but this morning it did” Congressman Wenstrup said in a statement sent to The Defender. “Capitol police and emergency responders reacted swiftly and courageously and we are grateful for their presence. I urge the nation to keep Rep. Scalise and all injured in their prayers.”