Early within the morning on June 14, 2017, a lone gunman in Alexandria, Virginia opened hearth on a subject the place Republican lawmakers had been training for the annual congressional charity baseball sport. 4 individuals had been shot, together with Home Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who suffered life-threatening accidents.
Now a yr later, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), one of many congressmen on the sphere through the assault, instructed ABC News’ “Begin Right here” podcast the Republican baseball group is able to play ball with Scalise within the beginning lineup.
“He is come a good distance from a yr in the past, let’s put it that means” he stated. “He is on the market, he is taken some swings within the cage, and he is taken a number of grounders at second base.”
Wenstrup, a right-fielder, was simply stepping into the batting cage when the primary shot rang out a yr in the past. After the second shot, which he believed hit Scalise, he took cowl and stayed down.
“From the place I used to be I might see him, I might see the place the taking pictures was coming from, I might see Capitol Police, and so luckily I used to be in a fantastic spot.”
When the shooter began gunning down the primary final analysis, he raced to cover behind the lavatory: “I might nonetheless peek out and see what was occurring, and as soon as the shooter was down, I used to be capable of get to Steve.”
Onlookers noticed a small gap in Scalise’s hip, however Wenstrup, a embellished Military ranger, rapidly realized there was no exit wound. His instincts as a fight surgeon in Iraq kicked in.
“I knew higher,” he stated. “It jogged my memory of considered one of our troops in Iraq that did not fare so nicely as a result of we had been too late in attending to the deeper wound that you do not see on the skin.”
He hurriedly utilized a tourniquet and “simply stored him as steady as we presumably might.”
When Scalise returned to Congress final fall, he credited the Ohio congressman with saving his life. Wenstrup stated on “Begin Right here” the Home majority whip “took a bullet for all of us.”
“If he wasn’t there, Capitol Police aren’t there. If they are not there, then there isn’t a response to the shooter and he can stroll proper on the sphere and begin having his means.”
After the assault, Wenstrup stated he visited the sphere together with his household to replicate. This yr, the Republican baseball group visited the scene collectively, “as a present of drive, ” however they have been training at a distinct subject.
“We’re not going to be daunted by this perpetually and it was in all probability good to get again there somewhat bit,” he stated on “Begin Right here. “However long run, individuals felt higher going elsewhere so it wasn’t a reminder daily. We needed to exit and apply, play baseball, have some camaraderie, and prepare for a charity baseball sport.”
When requested whether or not Congress has achieved sufficient within the final yr to stop an identical taking pictures from occurring once more, the congressman famous the STOP Faculty Violence Act and the elevated safety on the congressional baseball practices, however added there’s nonetheless extra work to be achieved.
“I believe that we do have a problem we now have to take care of in America – and that’s violence in America, and perhaps violence around the globe as nicely,” he stated. “However on the similar time I believe we now have to have a look at the causes of it, what’s resulting in it, and take a holistic strategy and actually take a healthcare strategy to what is going on on in America.”
Wenstrup stated he is making an attempt to provide you with options by finding out violence and murder within the U.S., however going into tonight’s sport, he is fascinated with “how fortunate we’re” as a result of final yr’s taking pictures might’ve been a lot worse.
“I will suppose how grateful we’re for all of the divine intervention that occurred that day, that each one of us are nonetheless alive, and again for an additional sport.”
This story is featured in Thursday’s version of ABC News’ “Begin Right here” podcast.
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