Republican Sen. Rand Paul said “everybody probably would have died” when a gunman opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice early Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, had it not been for one of the member’s security detail.
“Everybody probably would have died, except for the fact that the Capitol Hill police were there,” Paul said in an interview on MSNBC. “And the only reason they were there is because we had a member of leadership on our team.”
According to reports, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip when the gunman opened fire with a rifle during a GOP practice for an annual charity baseball game between Republicans and Democrats. Officers assigned to Scalise’s security detail returned fire at the gunman and neutralized him. None of the other congressional members attending the practice were covered by a security detail.
“If Scalise wouldn’t have been on the team — unfortunately he was hit and I hope he does well — but also by him being there he probably saved everybody else’s lives,” Paul said. “If you don’t have a leadership person there there would have been no security there.”
The Daily Caller reported that two members of Scalise’s detail were shot, but at least one continued protecting the scene until backup arrived.
“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre,” Paul said. “Because there is no escaping a guy with — if he’s got several hundred bullets. And we had no weapons and no place to hide. So if he would have advanced on the rest of us, there would have been no chance. The only chance we had was that the shots were returned by the Capitol Hill police.”
President Trump released a statement regarding the incident, saying that his thoughts and prayers are with all who were affected by the tragedy.
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