While a gunman was firing at Republican members of Congress as they practiced in Alexandria on Wednesday for the Congressional Baseball Game, Democrats were practicing at Gallaudet University in Washington.
Democrat manager Mike Doyle got a text from a member of his staff asking him if he was OK. The congressman then saw a news article about a shooting at a congressional baseball practice.
“I stopped the practice and told everybody to come into the dugout,” Doyle said, and then he shared the news.
“It was a silence. People were saying ‘No way,’” he said.
Soon after, Capitol Police arrived and had the Democrats shelter in place.
During the shelter in place, “I said, ‘let’s pray for our colleagues,’” Doyle said.
“We said a couple prayers for them and waited for the police officers to tell us [they could leave],” Doyle said. That’s when freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen snapped a photo to capture the moment.
“Thank God Steve Scalise had two armed security detail right there on the field,” Doyle said. “Had that happened on our field, we have nothing but baseball bats.”
And he said it struck him right away that Republican manager Rep. Joe Barton of Texas brings his sons to practice.
“I was thinking about him instantly when it happened — that [Barton’s son] Jack was there and was he OK?” Doyle said.
Democrats were later allowed to leave the field without police escorts, but those who came by bicycles jumped into cars for safety.