GOP Baseball Practice Shooting: Rep. Brooks Recounts Active Shooting Scene
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Let's hear a bit more of the story of Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who is still on the line. We heard, in the last few minutes, Congressman Brooks describe being on a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Va., this morning when a gunman opened fire. Congressman Brooks, like others, dove for cover, ended up in a dugout, then heard gunshots behind him, which he realized were members of the security detail of Representative Steve Scalise, one of the lawmakers practicing baseball this morning and wounded by this gunman. Congressman Brooks is still on the line.
Congressman, what happened then, after you realized that the security detail...
MO BROOKS: Well...
INSKEEP: ...Was returning fire?
BROOKS: Well, we knew that Steve Scalise was wounded. And he had crawled, drug himself from the dirt infield between first and second base - he was fielding ground balls at second base - into the right field of grass. So we knew one of our brothers was still in open terrain. And you're hoping that the shooter doesn't try to put a second or third shot into him. Eventually, there is at least 50 shots exchanged, maybe a hundred. I mean, there's so many. It's - it's hard to keep track.
Sometime during the process, both of the Capitol Police officers - again, it's a rifle versus a pistol - both of them get shot, one of them seriously, one in the leg. I don't know how seriously the injuries are to the one who was shot. At some point, the shooter, (unintelligible), starts working his way past the third base dugout, behind home plate - where, if I had stayed behind home plate...
INSKEEP: Would have found him.
BROOKS: ...Had been 15 feet - that had been it. There'd have been two or three of us in wide open territory, short range, nowhere to go, no chance. Apparently, as he's going around home plate, though, the Capitol Police officers, although wounded, they're able to take him down. We hear shouts of shooter down, shooter down.
But at the time, you don't know if there's a second shooter someplace or not. At some point, we take a chance. We know Steve Scalise is out in the outfield, and he's bleeding. Jeff Flake, I think he might have been the first one out of the dugout. I quickly followed him. Three or four of us...
INSKEEP: Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, right.
BROOKS: ...Ran out to where Steve Scalise was. And he was conscious. You could tell he was in pain. He was immobile. He needed liquids. Someone ran back to the dugout to get liquids. We have a congressman, Brad Wenstrup, who's also a - a medical doctor. He got to see Scalise. I don't recall if he was there before or after me.
But when he got there, he started trying to take off Steve Scalise's pants by cutting through them where the bullet wound was. I was asked to, and did, apply pressure with a cloth to the wound to try to slow down the blood flow. Someone else had been doing that before me. I don't know who. And at some point, the - the local law enforcement shows up. And they may have been a part of the shooting. They may have come after the shooting. It seemed like forever that we heard the sirens.
BROOKS: And it was just our two Capitol Police officers versus the shooter for the longest time.
BROOKS: And then we're herded all together into a central location with law enforcement around us, trying to protect us in case there is a - a second shooter someplace.
INSKEEP: And Congressman Mo Brooks, we will stop it there. Thank you for this description. We're pleased to hear that you're OK. And I can report also that Congressman Scalise's staff says that he will recover, although he was seriously wounded. Congressman, thank you very much.
BROOKS: Well, our prayers need to be with those who were injured, and tremendous gratitude to the Capitol Police officers who risked their lives to save ours. But for them, it would have been a massacre.
INSKEEP: Indeed. Mo Brooks of Alabama. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.