Skip to main content

tv   New Day  CNN  June 14, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PDT

5:00 am
in all sand dree yeah, virginia and we do understand there were two capital police officers shot and now we are just getting the word that majority whip steve ska lease was shot. do you know about anything about this baseball game? >> we have an annual baseball game between democrats and republicans, and it raises money for charity. i don't know if this was a practice for that or the team was practicing for a different charity baseball game. but it is one of the few things we do here that really improves the comradery between the parties. >> congressman, we have an eye witness on the phone. >> we have a congressman from alabama. he is at the practice practice. he is on the phone with us now. congressman, can you hear me? >> yes, sir.
5:01 am
forgive my voice for cracking a little bit. but the emotion is still high. >> it is totally understandable. are you okay? what do you know about the situation there? >> well right now we're secure. we did hear about 6:15 or 6:30. if you are familiar with the movie "remember the titan" we practice on their baseball field. 6:15, 6:30 was supposed to be the game. it raises about $600,000 for charity. the president will come. so it is a pretty good time for all except for the fact that the democrats have beaten us so much. but i was on deck about to hit and i hear, bam. and i look around and behind third base in the third base dug out, i see a rifle.
5:02 am
and i see a little bit of a body and then i hear another bam and i realize there is an active shooter. at the same time i hear skooef scalise over near second base scream. she 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. we have a batting cage with plastic wrapped around it to stop foul balls. i was lying on the ground as gunfire continued. heard a break in the gunfire and decided to take a chance. ran from home plate to the first base dug out for better cover. there were a number of
5:03 am
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, towards the right field side of the dug out and there is gunfire about five or six, seven feet to my head. i look up and thrts 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 along the third baseline just outside the chain link fence and he was ordering us to stay down. another security detail person was closer to home plate,
5:04 am
probably -- i couldn't see him but probably on the home plate side of the dug out using the dug out as cover as he's firing back. and there must have been 50 shots fired. hard to itemize them. eventually they shot both of our skerty detail people. there were some congressman on the phone screaming for reinforcements. seemed like a long time and we weren't even hearing sirens from local police officers which tells me they didn't yet know what was going on. eventually the shooter started circling around third base. this is my understanding. of course i'm down on the ground and helping the guy who's got a bullet hole in his leg and the shooter starts coming around home plate towards where we are, outside the fence line and my understanding is that's where our security detail, maybe some
5:05 am
of the ones who were wounded still defending us took him down. at which point once we got the all clear that the shooter was down, we ran out to second base for steve scalise. we started giving him some liquids, putting -- i put pressure on his wound in his hip and a congressman from ohio, senatety, fortunately is a physician. he started doing what you need to do to try to minimize the blood loss. shortly thereafter the police showed up. and a helicopter landed in center field and took away
5:06 am
whomever the folks decided was the most wounded, most critical. i don't know who that person was. at that time the police were causing all of us to gather outside the first baseline in the chain link fence in order to help assure if there was a second shooter that we would be better protected. >> oh, my gosh, congress map. we can't believe what you and your colleagues have just lived through and you have been able to tell us all of these details. do you have any sense of how many people were wounded? >> i think at least five. one congressman, steve scalise at second base. one staffer. i wish i knew his name, but i don't. two law enforcement officers. one was shot in the leg.
5:07 am
to his credit after the shooter was taken down he was just into the right field where steve scalise was. and law enforcement officer, local police or secret service, i don't know which, he was lying next to the security vehicle and it appears that one of the tires had been shot out. that gives you an idea of what the shooter was doing as he was trying to take out our security detail. >> congressman, you don't know the name of the staffer, but it is amazing that you were able in that moment of crisis to give him what mattered most, which was the help, the turn get. smart thinking for you under that kind of stress. you said that the whip congressman scalise left. was he able to move under his own power? do you know where he was hit? >> he was not able to move on his own power.
5:08 am
he was dragging his body from the second base infeed to the out field to get away from the shooter while all this firing was going on. so here we're seeing our colleague as we're under fire. he's lying on the ground. but there is not a whole lot you can do. so the situation is under control. so that was for us emotionally distressing to know the position he was in. but he was shot in the hip. i think it was not a life threatening wound, but i am not ady igs. i don't know how deal into the area the bullet went. there was no exit wound i could see. when we got out to steve, brad was trying to cutoff the pants. i was applying pressure to try to help stop the bleeding. but there was a blood trail about 10 to 15 yards long from where he was shot to where he crawled into right field.
5:09 am
>> you said the gunman was taken down. do you know if the gunman was killed? >> well, no i do not know if he was killed. but i'll tell you, it's probably best that i leave it a that. >> the authorities have said that he is in custody. that's early information. let's talk about how're going with all this congressman. it is amazing you have been able to rebount the events as they were going on and you gave aid to two difficult people you have told us about so far. how are you feeling about everything right now? how is everybody else there? >> well, it is hard to contain the emotions. my adrenaline is raging and of course it's never easy to take when you see people around you getting shot and you don't have a weapon yourself so you are not in a position to help defend. so you are pretty helpless.
5:10 am
it is not a good situation to be in h. you know, i don't know what took our security detail as long as it took them to start exchanging fire. probably they were as shocked as we were. and it seemed hike a long time, but it may have just been seconds, might have been 10 or 15, 20 seconds. but the bravely they displayed. pistols against a rifles is not a fair fight. >> you're right about that, especially if the man had time. >> our security detail, i don't know their names. >> right, i got you. >> but they did tremendous bravery in the face of that. >> we're looking at some of the first images there from the ymca's glass being shattered. obviously, this was a long-range weapon so it was able to put rounds into the surrounding structures and people as you are telling us right now. were you able to see the gunmen?
5:11 am
do you know whether it was just one man? >> i saw i'm on the third base side of home plate swinging the baseball bat because i was next up, when i saw the first shot, i saw the rifle, i did see -- you know, first i didn't know what the bang was. then i look and see the rifle gun and i got a glimpse of the shooter, which meant he also could see me if he looked in my direction. at that point i ran around home plate and hid behind the plas bik batting cage. plas tin won't stop a bullet, but he can't see you quite as well. there were probably 10, 20, 30 shots fired while two or tree of us are lying on the ground seeking cover behind the batting cage. >> congressman, let's just -- >> congressman, let's just remind people.
5:12 am
congressman, let's just remind people what you are talking about in case they are joining us right now. news is spreading of this tragedy. so we just want to get people up to speed. right now we're talking to congressman mo brooks from alabama. he survived a shooting at a baseball team practice. they are getting ready for a charity game scheduled for tomorrow night. a long gun was used by a gunman who appeared in one of the dug outs. started firing at the players. >> he was not in the dug out. he was behind the dug out using it as protection. >> this was in virginia. there was a security detail there. congressman brooks is telling us people were hit. some of the security was hit. some staffer was hit and the majority whip, steve scalise of louisiana was hit. the congressman is giving us a dramatic accounting of what
5:13 am
happened and how steve scalise how shot. a staff went out to help steve scalise with another member of congress who was a doctor who was trying to help with the wounds. help did come. fire it was exchanged. the gunman was taken into custody. we're now talking with the congressman about how many gunmen he saw one rifle and one gunman moving. did you get any type of description of the gunman, congressman? >> he appeared to be a white male. i saw him for maybe a second or two, perhaps maybe just a fraction of a second and then i decided i was not in the best position being one of the closest people to him. although the division does discouraged a little bit by the third base dug out. he was a white male, middle anyoned. he wasn't skinny, but he did not appear to be obese either. a little on the chubby side. >> congressman, i know you
5:14 am
described seeing a helicopter fly when you all called for help and finally there were first responders and a helicopter landed and do you know if it was steve scalise who was air lifted out. >> i don't know. two of the injuries appears serious. steve scalise was prone the whole time. but it was a hip one. normally those are not as bad as hitting an intern organ. and then there was one of our security dethal that was lying on the ground next to the vehicle. security detail vehicle. and he had a towel over his head and he was immobile. he was being treated. so it would have been one of those two. hopefully those two had priority over the shooter, at least that's the way i would have done it. i'd have made the shooter last. >> congressman k you tell us about this scene? how many of you were there for this practice ball game this morning? >> we are 30 or so on the
5:15 am
republican team. at the time of the shooting i would guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 but it is hard to tell because it is early in the morning. and sometimes after people have gotten their at bats in during batting practice, they then leave. so some of the congressmen had started to leave. but we still had, i would think, 15, 20 at an absolute minimum. maybe as high as 20 to 25. of course we had another dozen or so staff members who help with our team. these younger guys can throw pitches that are strikes so they are very good to have. and then we had the security detail. >> so you're showing video right now, congressman of the chopper coming there to the field. you of course have been telling us how you and the others have managed to live through this under very difficult circumstances. you made so many smart moves under pressure.
5:16 am
obviously going to that batting cage. sure it was just pras tick, but it was better than nothing. you made your guy to the dug out where there were other staffers there. you are not sure how long this took, but you're saying you heard at least dozens of rounds before the security detail was able to explain fire. is that right. >> i would think 10 or 20 rounds from the rifle before i heard anything coming from our side, the first base side. but keep in mind, you know, i could miss some of those shotting. i don't know how they sent the security detail to engage and i'm sure they weres a astonished as we were. you have to figure out who the shooter is, where he is and how you are going to respond when you have pistols and he's got a rifle. but they exhibited, once they started engaging, they exhibited great, great courage. i must confess the first shot
5:17 am
that i heard was after it had already gotten passed the batting cage. i figured out this was not a good place to be in that shooter goes around the dug outgoing towards the fence because then you have a clean shot of it lying into the ground. that's when i ran into the dug out, helped apply a tourniquet to one of my staffers shot. i heard another shot. i looked up. and so that's how long it took for me to first notice one of our side shooting back, but i would suspect they reacted a lot more quickly than that. my attention was not necessarily focussed on them. >> we're looking at live pictures right now of the scene, the aftermath there. you can see the people trying to crowd around trying to figure out what happened. you have congressman remarkable
5:18 am
detail and you have a good description of the gunman who we believe is in custody. you believe he was a middle-aged white man, heavy set. was he saying something? you were close you have to be able to get a look at him and to watch him firing his guns. was he saying anything? >> no. he was not saying anything. and i probably -- well, i was on the third base side of home plate -- saw him fire three or four or five or six times that i theeded to figure out that i need to be a whole lot smarter under these circumstances and standing there watching him was not a good idea. that's when i ran around the batting cage. at least i was obscured by the blue pras tick that goes up about four feet high. >> it was the right move at the right time, congressman. it was the right move at the right time, congressman. you got to where you needed to be. you were able to help others.
5:19 am
for people coming in right now and understanding this story. this is a gop baseball team. what other names are involved here? who do you know was there? we know there was a lot of staffers and some of them you know, some of them you don't. but what do you know that was there? >> well, congressman of florida, he was fielding balls at third base and he came in to hit. if he had still been at third base, he likely would have been the first target of the gunman because he would have been been about 20 to 25 feet of where the gunman was shooting through the fence. you had chuck fleischman, senator rand paul, they were both in and around home plate. jeff might have gone to left center field to get some fly balls we did out there during the batting practice. at second base was steve scalise
5:20 am
where he was shot. please forgive me for not being able to remember all the names of all the congressmen right now but i'm a little shook up. i know he was there because after the shooter was down and we ran out to see steve scalise at second base, he is a physician and we deferred to his judgment on what to do. i held a cloth over the wound to stop the bleeding as brad was getting some kind of scissors device to cut through the pants to try to have better access to steve scalise's wound and his hip. >> it is your belief that at least five people were hit? >> yes. steve scalise was hit, i saw that. a staffer was hit. that's the one i put along with another congressman. i don't remember which congressman it was. but we put a felt on him, a
5:21 am
tourniquet around his wound, the staffer's wound that was in the cast. then there was the security detail. although, the security detail was wounded in the leg, he came out to try to make sure steve scalise was okay. we tried to shoe him off but it showed his dedication that he was there to protect the person he was taking care of because again steve scalise is a majority whip. then from what i understand, at least one security detail person was hit because he was lying on the ground next to a flat tire of the security people. apparently that tire had been shot and then there was the shooter. there is a lot of other blood with other people, but a lot of that was people scrambling to try to get to a safe place.
5:22 am
they might fall. they might hit concrete. they might dive down on to concrete, so there would be bruises, scrapes, things of that nature. but i only know of five people hit by bullets. >> congressman jeff duncan was there as well, right? >> yes, he was at practice today, yes. >> he is saying he may have had according to reports, he may have had a conversation with the shooter before all this happened obviously. we're talking about 6:00, 6:30 in the morning. did you recognize the man from earlier when you saw him or was it all happening too fast for you? >> no, i did not notice the man until such time as he had a gun and was shooting from behind the chain link fence behind third base and to the left field side of the third base doug out. you know, i only saw him for a brief period of time. half a second, a second, two seconds. however long a time it took me to figure out it was really dumb
5:23 am
for me to stand where i was standing, that's where i saw him, shooting at my comrades on the field. >> we are getting new reporting from dana bash. she says the shooting appears to be, quote, a deliberate attack. do you feel as though -- >> it sure as heck wasn't an accident. >> right, right. i mean, obviously the guy showed up with a long gun and now there is reporting that maybe he was there lingering before, targeting this practice. again, congressman duncan is saying that he had a conversation with the shooter before. he's going to give a report to police. and that's obviously more than obvious to you that this guy was there to try to hurt and kill people, as many as he could. luckily for you and others, you took action to avoid him and the good guys got in there as soon as they could. now right now you are still there, right congressman? i mean what is going on right now? we have yellow tape that's
5:24 am
surrounding us on a concrete baseball field next to the baseball field or basketball court and we are surrounded by law enforcement officers and many of us are calling different folks back home to share insight with what's happening and try to ensure, particularly family, that we were safe. that was the very first thing i did. first thing you do is you send a text to your entire family where you have that one text stream with all the names and you say, look, shooter, i'm safe. when the news hits your family will have some assurance you are okay. >> of course. and we pray that all of the people that were hit are going to be able to send that very same message to their families. i think what dana bash was referring to was obviously a deliberate attack when somebody shows up with a gun. i think the point is whether or not he knew you were lawmakers.
5:25 am
>> well, people know this is the republican baseball team practicing. you can tell. you can recognize many of us. you can see our security detail. we're doing it at a very odd time. it is pretty well known at the neighborhood who those folks are on the baseball field and where we practice. and there is probably publicity about it on capitol hill. it's on all of our calendars. it is not a secret that we're practicing over here and the democrats are practicing at a different place and i'm not going to divulging where that is under these circumstances. >> you raise a good point, congressman. >> he knew who we were. i'm a former prosecutor and, yeah, he was going after elected officials, congressman. >> congressman jeff duncan said he had some sort of conversation with him before. that adds to your understanding
5:26 am
that he knew whom he was dealing with on that field at that time. congressman, we are grateful for having you on right now, but i want to make sure that it is in your best interest. are you being told by authorities now that the situation is secure? are they keeping you there because they're worried about moving you guys right now? is there any continuing threat they're worried about. >> i don't know why they're keeping us all here. quite frankly, initially it was to take statements from us. but we would not be standing around if it wasn't secure. i'm confidence that law enforcement would not allow us to be bunched together where we would be such easy targets and my best guest, they kwaurdenned off most of the area with the yellow tape. for instance, i ride my bike eight or nine miles from capitol hill to the baseball field and now i can't get to my bike. you know, until the investigation is complete.
5:27 am
>> good. do me a favor, though, congressman. we know you're safe there, but let's go light on details about where you guys are right now and how you are being kept safe just in case, just in case. let's be light on details about that. but are the people who survived, are they getting help? this is a hard thing to make it through. as you were saying even as a seasoned prosecutor, obviously your adrenaline is just spiking. but people are getting help that they need there? >> i see one person being attended to and it appears to be congressman gary homer of alabama, good friend of mine from the birmingham area and he's got medical assistance. we're kind of old. so if i had to guess with him, i'd say it is probably a hurt knee or a pulled hamstring or something like that from us scattering very, very quickly, faster than we normally run. our bodies aren't used to doing
5:28 am
that. i only know of the five people who were shot. that's the only one i can see. the other people have been moved from the scene. >> and congressman, you were telling us about the emergency response. obviously things moved in sort of slow motion for you after it happened. who knows if it was 15 seconds or five minutes the way you describe it. but people started calling for help and back up on their phones because you had security detail and we know there was two law enforcement officers we understand, capital police shot and injured. but to give us your sense of then how quickly things happened and what the response was, how many units were able to show up to help people. >> well, it seemed like forever that we had no help. it seemed like about, i would say, a minimum of two minutes. maybe as much as five minutes before we started hearing sirens. we had people in the first base
5:29 am
dug out screaming into their telephone that we were under attack and to send help immediately. i think that was because of the concern that our security detail may be out gunned. again, it is pistols versus rifles. and it seemed to take forever for local law enforcement officials to figure out that we were under attack and to get reenforcements in time to be of assistance. >> thank god you guys were acting for yourselves, but your sense of time is going to be a little bit compressed given what you are dealing with there. but i totally get your concern that it seemed like you guys were on your own for a while and out gunned, even though you had some capital police there, some security detail there. you are saying they had handguns and you believe this was a long gun to be sure. were you able to take any kind of guess as to what kind of long
5:30 am
gun? >> no. i am absolutely certain that it was a rifle. it was not a shotgun. but i did not ever get -- thankfully, i didn't get close enough to it to be able to identify the type of rifle that was being used. the only weapon i had was a baseball bat and that's not a fight you want to engage in. >> absolutely. you were saying that because of the repetitive fire. it seemed to you as though it were semiautomatic, obviously making this more dangerous. congressman, we have you on the phone. you survived the shooting at the gop baseball practice in virginia. for those just joining us right now, the congressman is telling us how they were practicing early this morning at about 6:30. he heard something during their practice. he looked and saw a rifle, a man, white mail, somewhat heavy set hidden behind a dug out opened fire on this congressional baseball team. multiple people were hit. congressman brooks says at least
5:31 am
five. one of them notably the majority whip for the gop, steve scalise of indiana. we're not sure if that injury is life injury. the congressman saw scalise being dragged in. he put a tourniquet on the leg of one staffer and went out with another congressman to help the whip steve scalise. they did have limited security there because scalise is in the chain of command. they exchanged fire with the gunman. police say the gunman is in custody and they say there is no continuing threat, but that's hard to know for sure. congressman, you say it took a while for the authorities to get there. they are keeping you there right now. they say you are safe. i don't want you to el us too much about where they are keeping you just in case there is a continuing threat. how are you feeling right now
5:32 am
after a little bit of time? >> well, the adrenaline is starting to subside a little bit. the emotions, my voice is not cracking as much as it was. of course, the most frustrating thing is when you see your friends, steve scalise in particular lying on the ground and you're trying to figure out what you can do to help. you can't get out to help. you have no way to defend yourself. so that's the emotional part other than of course the risk to yourself. but to have someone next to you who is bleeding profusely from his leg, you don't know how bad the injury is. i forget the gentleman's name. he was very brave. he said, hey, i'm okay. i'm okay. you can see the bullet hole in his calf and you know that's not okay. and that's where the tourniquet came into play. to be clear, it was my belt and
5:33 am
i assisted. but there was another man helping me. i saw him cartered away before you called and the belt was still there being used as a tourniquet. so i'm happy that it was made to good use. >> congressman, listen, you did great there in the heat of this moment and in terms of what was happening and you didn't know. i mean, you were one of the first people to see the gunman and to hear the shots and open fire and trying to sort of figure out what was happening. you told us you believe there was something like 25 people all of you there practicing. this is one of your routine early morning practices, along with your fellow congressmen and some senators and you get together and this is supposed to be, you know, a summer activity. obviously of come rodry and then
5:34 am
all of this breaks out. can you tell us for people just joining us, remind us, recall for us what happened when you first that first shot. >> well, i heard -- i'm not sure if it was immediately because they were pretty close in succession. but i heard steve scalise scream and i don't remember exactly what he said but it was clear that something bad happened. at the same time i hear the bang, i look in that direction. i hear the scream. i see the rifle behind the third base dug out, probably about 10 or 15 feet passed the dug out on the third base side. but it is obscuring the view of those of us who are batting. the gunman continues to fire. steve scalise by now is on the ground and he doesn't know how bad he's hit. then i see the man himself with
5:35 am
a gun and it's about that time that i figure that if i can see him, he can see me and i'm one of the closest targets to him and that's when i decided it really wasn't too smart to be standing right there and i ran around the -- to the first base side of home plate. we had a batting cage. if you have ever been to a baseball field you know what they look like. they've got plastic four or feet high and then a chain link fence. we hit behind the blue plastic and laid down there and the gunfire just seemed to never stop. >> congressman, just to remind people -- >> the gunman decided to go around the third baseline. in that case he would have a direct shot at us. and that's when i made the decision, i think along with the two or three folks along with me on the ground, to try to get to the first base dug out if we
5:36 am
could and fortunately while the gentleman was still shooting at people in the out field or in the infield -- gentleman, i shouldn't use that word. while the man, the shooter was doing that, ran into the dug out and dove head first on to the concrete where there were some other players because we're trying to get out of gunfire range. >> congressman, just to remind people, you have been giving us names of people who will there. i hope you take some consolation in the fact that people from all over the country are expressing not only their great regret about that, but they want to make sure that you are all okay. they care about their elected representatives and they want to know if their people are there from their own home state and district. i want to go through the names that you have given us. >> roger williams was there. he's one of our coaches. they were probably around home plate at the time. >> and you have said desanit,
5:37 am
fliesh man, windstrom, palmer and of course you. do any other names come to mind other than the two you just gave us? >> there were at least another dozen. but i was so shook up and i was so focussed on other things, i wasn't taking down names. i wasn't doing the roster. >> understandable. just want to get names out there for people who want to make sure they are okay. the president put out a statement. we are aware of the situation. we are deeply saddened by this tragedy. our thoughts and prayers are with the members of congressman, first responders and all others affected. >> in fact, we know that steve scalise did meet with president trump yesterday in the roosevelt room. we are waiting for an update on steve scalise's condition, the
5:38 am
staffer who was hit in the calf that you describe to law enforcement officer, these are just the five that you saw injured and we don't have any numbers yet from authorities. >> no. and steve scalise he never lost consciousness in my presence. he was conscious the whole time. of course he was in pain and he was prone. as brad winstrom tried to the end to him. >> yes, a doctor and practicing physician. there is a chop threr that landed in the ball field. here is a senator being interviewed right now on capitol hill -- sorry, ton basebaon the
5:39 am
field. we did see somebody air lifted and you are not sure who is requiring that level of medical attention. >> the two people who seemed the worst injured other than the shooter were steve scalise and one of our security details. i just -- i'm sorry, i couldn't see which one it was. the but the chopper rand landedt 20, 30 feet from where steve was on the ground. but at that point the law enforcement officers were trying to even circle us and put us in a safer position where they thought they could better protect us and then they circled around us. >> in terms of you guys acted on your own and you needed to. if it weren't for scalise being there, because he's in the
5:40 am
presidential success, he gets security. senator flake is speaking right now. we are going to listen in congressman. hopefully you can hear as well. >> who was shot? >> steve scalise was shot. she was playing second base fielding balls. steve is okay. but he dragged himself about 15 yards off of there near second base on the field, laying motionless out there. couldn't get tohim until the shooter stopped. after time, another staffer ran in with a leg wound. he was shot in the leg. one of the staffers had been shot in the field and continued to run into the dug out and we got a belt and put it around the wound and tried to keep it. joe barden's ten-year-old boy was here, and we got him in the
5:41 am
dug out and put him under the bench. i got a look at the shooter for just a fast shot. he had a blue shirt. he was firing into the dug out. then somebody yelled, the shooter is down and so i ran out to steve and put pressure on the wound. >> so the shooter was shot? >> the shooter -- there was a lot of yelling going on, but i could not tell what was, if anything, was the shooter. >> the shooter was or wasn't shot? >> the shooter was shot. i believe he's still living. >> senator, how many numbers of shot? >> we just saw him leave in a stretcher. >> roger williams. >> a lot of people got a few
5:42 am
injuries diving into the dug out. >> and so the 50 shots -- >> i don't believe any deceased at this point. one person that works for tyson food i think comes out and was shot in the chest. he's probably the most critical. >> senator, you said the security was shot. >> yes. >> was your sense this shooter knew you guys were out here and targeted you guys purposely. >> i would assume so. it is not clear whether steve scalise was targeted or not. >> he was certainly in a bad place. >> so he was playing second base? >> yes. >> how many members were there, senator? >> members here? probably 25. >> senator, for those just joining us, can you kind of start us from the beginning of exactly what happened from when you were playing and when you first realized there was a problem?
5:43 am
>> well, a number of us -- i just batted and then just fielded some balls in center field and came in and was standing there watching some of the batting practice and all of a sudden we heard a shot, a very loud shot that everybody thought sounded like a gun and then, boom, it happened in succession after that. he had a rifle of some kind. it was obviously a large gauge. there were people in the field. one staffer was shot out in the field and he ran with a wound to the dug out. then at that point there was firing behind us from the security detail. >> we are joined by congressman mo brooks who witnessed all this. he was on the baseball at third base when all of this brook out. so congressman, thank you for sticking with us.
5:44 am
i don't know if you could hear the audio there, but he reinforced what you told us. he said that he believed they were okay and he saw congressman scalise drag himself off the field to get to safety. there was another staffer who was also wounded in the leg. he described having that belt that you put around his leg as a tourniquet to try to treat the wound. jeff blake has more information. we understand he's still speaking. let's check that for one second. >> joe barton is a congressman from tx x. >> did this appear to be a coordinated attack? >> it was one shooter. whether he was targeting certain members, we don't know. >> how long until he was down? >> it was at least -- it seemed like a lot congresser longer, bt least ten minutes.
5:45 am
>> did you have armed officers with you here? >> yes. we did. steve scalise is the whip, so he has a security detail. two of his detail were shot. one african-american gentleman shot in the leg and i believe he's the one that brought the shooter down. he ran around for quite a while with the leg wound, returning fire. and then after i got out, i was the first out to steve and then brad and another member from ohio, who is a physician, came out and we applied the pressure on the wound. >> he seems okay to you? >> yeah. he was coherent the whole time. but, boy, he laid out there for at least ten minutes alone in the field. we couldn't get to him while there were shots. >> did the shooter say anything? >> not that -- there was a lot of yelling going on, but to tell you the truth, some of the other members had different angles, so they may have heard him yell something, but i didn't.
5:46 am
but two security detail, i think the woman was crystal is her name was shot i think pretty early and she went down and so the other gentleman was returning fire. >> so it was a female police officer? >> female, yeah, capital police officer. he was wounded and taken up there. >> was someone shot in the head? >> no. there was a gentleman by the matt that was shot in the chest. so he was taken off i think by ambulance. >> what do you make of this? >> what do you make of it? just have no idea. i have no idea. but i got steve scalise's phone and called his wife. i didn't want her to wake up and hear the news and not know what was going on. >> senator, what specific -- >> chuck flashed me. marty the photographer was there. i know mo brooks came in during
5:47 am
that time. you see more and more pile in. i think there were about 12, some staff, some members. maybe 6 or 8 members in the dug out. like i said there were people hiding behind trees. there is a dog park over there and i think there were always people over there. so i think they were running the other direction. >> you said ten minutes to take the gunman down but you had security detail. what was going on? >> he had a lot of ammo and he must have been secured by the third base dug out for a while. so it was tough to get him. >> so a tactical standpoint? >> it seemed so. initially he was right out in the open. marty our photographer saw him raise the gun the first time, the rifle. but he said he thought why in the world would somebody hurt us out here at this time? >> it looked like 40s, maybe 50.
5:48 am
dark hire. white with a blue shirt on. i think gejeans. my view of him was quick behind the dug out. and then when i realized he had a line of sight with all the members there, then we obviously went back down quickly. >> and there were reports of 50 to 100 gunshots. obviously that's because capitol police were returning fire. >> 50 would be an understatement, i'm quite sure. >> we're being joined by a national audience. can you recap exactly what you saw? >> well, we were doing batting practice and there were a number of members and staff fielding. steve scalise was on second base fielding balls and all of a sudden we heard a very loud shot. everybody thought that sounds like a gun and the gunman was over by the third base dug out with a clear view of the field and everybody on it.
5:49 am
and then all of a sudden a couple more shots, and we knew what it was and i just remember seeing some gravel, you know, bounce up as shots were coming near us. and so we climbed into the dug out. and tried to get our own people engaged. some people were calling 911. it was at least ten minutes because we were applying pressure to one of the staffers that was shot in the leg and we got a belt out, put that on. and you could see steve scalise out in the field. he dragged himself from second base into the field to be a little farther away from the gunman. he was laying motionless out there. so i wanted to get to him but there were still shots going overhead from both sides and, so, finally when we heard the shooter was down, i just ran low
5:50 am
out to steve and started putting pressure on it. and then we for about 10 or 15 minutes did that until the police arrived. >> how many members of congress were here. >> probably about 25. >> we want to bring in senator rand paul. he also was at that early morning congressional baseball practice and witnessed all of this unfold. senator, tell us where you were and what you saw. >> i was in the right field batting cage outside of the fence line and the first shot rang out and i grew up in the south. i'm used to hearing an occasional shotgun and it didn't sound like a rifle. and then there were a couple of seconds. everybody looked up and heard the sounds. but we were about ready to come back and do our business. then five or ten shots in a row quickly rang out and that's when
5:51 am
everybody was hitting the dirt. i saw scalise go down at second base. there were staffers running from the perimeter where the shooter was all the way to where i was. i was in the far perimeter of right field. and i often give senator flake a right home and about a minute before i had been at home plate, then i walked by him at the dug out and i said i'm going to go one more time for one more batting cage at the right field. i'm at the right field. i'm at the farthest point from the gunshots but the gunshots are still hitting in the dirt where two staffers are lying on the ground. i think one of them may have been hit. one of the staffers decides the heck with this i'm not staying here. the bullets were flying all around me. he decided to climb the fence and he climbed a 20 foot fence in about three seconds, flopped
5:52 am
down behind me and there was a big oak tree behind the batting cage. he and i were behind the oak tree. but the gunshots were going into the warning track about five or ten feet from us. and at some point i'd say 50 or 60 shots at least had been fired from the shooter. and then we start to hear the capitol hill police respond and there's is a different weapon, so you hear pistol shots going back at the shooter. 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 how heavily armed he was. but nobody else had a weapon. so he was just killing everyone and he would have. and i think the capitol hill police apparently both were wounded. i hope they survive and, you know, they deserve our
5:53 am
gratitude. it would have been a mass sa kwer. >> we heard it was that female police officer that was air lifted from the middle of the field there when we saw the chopper land. do you have a sense of how many people were injured? >> my understanding is both capitol hill police, representative scalise, at least two or three staffers. so there was probably 10 to 20 congressmen and senators out there. we were practicing out there for weeks, so we see people walking their dogs. most people were friendly. we live in this great, free and open country and it's just sad it's come to this. it's really one of the best things we do. it is a bipartisan thing. i have gotten to know many democrats in this game. we joke around. it we are set to raise $600,000 for the boys and girls club of
5:54 am
d.c. it is a good thing. i mean, it's just really sick and very sad. >> do you have any sense, senator, of how injured scalise is? >> i was so far away from him. nobody could get to him until they brought the shooter down. at some point i had to make a decision that if the gunman was advancing to stay or go and we were in the right field. we were as far as we could be, but we decided we would be just as far away from a shooter. we couldn't get to scalise from where i was. so i couldn't get to any of them. and, so, but i think good news is he was moving. it wasn't a wound to the trunk. it was a wound either to the hip or to the leg and that can still be incredibly serious. you can die from a wound like that, but he was moving. i like steve. he is a great guy. and our prayers are with him.
5:55 am
>> ours, too. we just talked to congressman mo brooks who also was there. he is still on the phone. in fact, he is listening to all of us and he was describing the helplessness of just watching as steve scalise is there as they both described as something like ten minutes. was it your sense that it was just a sort of painfully long time until more reinforcements could show up. >> yeah. and i think that that's why i say that our lives were saved by the capitol hill police. had they not been there i think it would be a massaker. and having no self-defense, the field was basically a killing field. if you were to run out while the killer was still shooting, he should have shot anybody. he, i think, that's probably,
5:56 am
what, 75 yards or so, and that's about where we were. i was lucky to be that far away. but he's still shooting 75 yards away and there is no stopping and it appeared as if after a while that he might have been advancing and had the capitol hill police not been there, he would have shot everybody. at some point we decided escape was the only option. the people in the dug out had no route of escape because they are in a dug out that goes down a foot or two. their only chance of survive is to get down below the surface of the ground. if they were to come and pop up, they were only 20 yards from the shooter. had the capitol hill police not been there to prevent the advance of the gunman, as terrible as it is, it could have been a lot worse and, i mean, the capitol hill police cannot
5:57 am
get enough praise for saving everyone out there. >> again thr, this is something all do routinely. you are a visible presence. >> we've been doing it for -- i've been out there for six years. we practice 20 or 30 times before the game. it's always early in the morning. we usually meet friendly people walking their dogs. i have never even had anybody say a cross word to us. it's like i don't know what it's come to. but anyway -- >> but it is your feeling he had to know you were lawmakers? >> yeah. and in fact i can't verify everything, but i think there is some saying they may have heard that it was politically motivated. but i did not hear that. i am hearing secondhand that it might have been. we'll find out more whether there was mental illness. >> senator thank you very much. the police chief is speaking right now, so let's go to him.
5:58 am
>> we were there within three minutes. we know officers from the capitol hill police as well as three officers that we had an scene arrived. two of our officers engaged in gunfire, returned fire. beyond that we're not going to make any other statements until such time as we know exactly what's taken place on this. it is an active scene. we have a lot of witnesses to interview. we are collaborating with the sheriffs office, the medical with the fire department here. we also are working with the federal bureau of investigations, collecting doing statements and things you do in these situations. we will try to keep you posted as we get more information. right now we will try to schedule a press conference probably about an hour and a half from now. but right now that's all we have. i will add one other thing. we know that five people were transported medically from the scene. we will not give out their names or their locations at that point
5:59 am
or the condition of their injuries. i'm not going to take any questions at this point largely because you have got everything that i'm going to release at this juncture. what i will do know is i would like to ask the chief from the capitol hill police to come out and make a brief statement. chief? >> good morning. i'm chief of the united states capitol hill police. >> maybe a little louder, please. >> this morning received a call via our communications of shots fired at this location. officers who were on scene responded and engaged a suspect in gunfire. very shortly thereafter, the city police and other units responded to assist and at that point we were able to teurn the situation as victims for
6:00 am
transported into the hospital. we are not going to get into details. it is very early on. i want to thank the police, sheriffs office and the fire department for their rapid response to the request for assistance and the 911 call. i appreciate their rapid response and certainly it saved lives. >> was there one shooter? >> at this point we are going to gather the investigators together and look at what we have and put this incident together. again, it is very early on. there is a lot of witnesses to be interviewed. once we have more information, we will certainly pass on whatever information we can to make sure that you have the information that you need for your work. thank you very much. i'm going to turn back over to the all sand rea


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on