New Mexico congressman describes Virginia baseball field shooting scene

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting near a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot at a Congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (KRQE) – New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce was among the Republicans practicing Wednesday morning when a shooter opened fire.

KRQE News 13 spoke with Rep. Pearce in Washington Wednesday afternoon.

He was at bat and noticed the shooter standing near the third base dugout when the first shot was fired.

Listen: Steve Pearce recounts shooting >>

“As I would finish my swing, a bystander at the end of the third base dugout, later that turned out to be the shooter,” Pearce said.

Rep. Pearce says in the moments leading up to the shooting, nothing seemed odd about James Hodgkinson. But as Pearce walked away from the plate, the man started firing.

The shooter hit House Majority Whip Steve Scalise from Louisiana in the hip. He’s now in critical condition.

Pearce says he saw the shooter also hit two staffers and two security agents, then fire randomly at the fleeing players.

Police fired back at Hodgkinson, who later died. Pearce called the moment traumatic and tragic, thanking the police who stepped into harm’s way.

“I saw the shooter, clearly, with his rifle, aimed and shooting around one corner of a building, saw the Capitol police returning fire,” Pearce said in a Facebook video he posted after the shooting.

Also immediately after the shooting, Peace met kids from a Silver City Middle School in his Capitol Hill office.

Other New Mexico lawmakers, including Sen. Tom Udall and Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan, all sent their condolences to the victims and condemned the shooting.

Sen. Martin Heinrich called the incident shocking, troubling and sick.

 

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