Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, was on third base at a baseball field in Washington, D.C. about 7 a.m. Wednesday in a final practice before today’s annual Congressional Baseball Game.
In the middle of practice, Huffman’s coach urgently called the players in from the field.
“I could see our coach (Rep.) Mike Doyle behind home plate. He got a text message that had him very upset,” Huffman said. “Within a couple seconds he urgently called us all in and read us a cryptic message about a shooting at the Republican practice.”
The shooting, Huffman would shortly discover, wounded Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a lobbyist and two U.S. Capitol Police officers at an Alexandria, Virginia ballpark about eight miles away.
“My heart sank. I worried about what may have happened to our colleagues,” said Huffman. “Our team moved into our dugout and huddled up in a prayer for them.”
Huffman and his team awaited further news in the dugout, contacting family. It took about 30 minutes before they learned no one had died.
“It was heart-rending,” Huffman said.
Several miles away in the capital at the House gym, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, was pedaling on a stationary bicycle when he saw Secret Service agents enter the room and escort Speaker Paul Ryan, who was in an exercise class, out of the room.
“One of my colleagues said, ‘Is everything OK?’ And (Ryan) said, ‘I don’t know yet,’” Thompson said.
Thompson soon learned the ordeal his Republican colleagues had endured on the baseball field and that House Majority Whip Scalise was critically wounded in gunfire.
Thompson called the shooter’s actions…
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