Luck was with Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who left the same baseball practice in which Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA), two Capitol Police officers, a congressional aide, and a lobbyist were shot just five minutes or so before the incident began. They were getting in some practice for the Congressional Republican baseball game set for Thursday night. One might ask what a lobbyist was doing there in the first place, but that is another story.
As it turns out, were it not for the Capitol Police, which provide security for Scalise due to his leadership position as Majority Whip, things would have certainly been much worse. They returned fire, killed the assailant and saved lives.
The shooter opened fire shortly after 7 am and actually spoke with Rep Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Rep Jeff Duncan (R-SC) in the parking lot as they prepared to leave Eugene Simpson Stadium Park following practice.
Rep DeSantis describes the encounter, and how he had been taking ground balls at third while Scalise was taking them at second. He points out that had he and Duncan not decided to leave a little early to avoid the traffic, he would have been directly in the line of fire.
He describes an encounter with the shooter in the parking lot as they were preparing to leave in which he approached their group and asked if it was Republicans or Democrats who were out on the field. They told him it was Republicans, to which the individual immediately turned and walked away in the direction of the field. They thought it was a little odd at the time and only realized how close they had come to something very serious once the news broke.
Both DeSantis and Duncan confirmed the guy who asked that question is the same guy whose photo was being circulated as the gunman.
The game is still on although Scalise will not be able to play. He is out of the woods as far as his injuries go, recovering in a DC hospital.
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