A year ago today, James T. Hodgkinson maliciously opened fire at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, less than ten miles from the nation’s capital.
Mississippi Representative Trent Kelly was one of the lawmakers on the field that day.
“First thing, I’m playing third–I’m standing there waiting for the pitcher to pitch to the batter. I’m paying attention, and all of a sudden, I hear a gunshot, to which I immediately go, ‘that is a gunshot,’” Kelly said.
As the gunfire continued, Kelly started running in a zig-zag formation that he learned in military training, because the congressman believed the shots were actually aimed at him.
“He was pointed directly at me,” Kelly continued. “I feel like based on the trajectory of those things, I think the first three shots were at me.”
Luckily, Kelly was not shot, but five of his teammates–Zack Barth, Matt Mika, Crystal Griner, David Bailey, and Steve Scalise–were wounded. Fortunately, none of the players were killed. The only death was that of the Illinois gunman, himself, who was shot on the scene and later died in the custody of the hospital.
“At some point, the Alexandria police showed up, and I retreated to a concession stand until he was subdued,” Kelly said. “Then, I called my folks and said, ‘man, I love y’all.’”
It is a miracle that no lives were lost due to the evils of one, selfish individual. Of the five lawmakers injured, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was the one who suffered the most severe injury. After nine different surgeries and 365 days of intensive rehabilitation, the House Majority Whip will amazingly take the field once again tonight when the Democrats and Republicans square off tonight at Nationals Park. The first pitch will be at 7:05 ET.