GOP rep recounts shooting: We were 'literally crying for help'

GOP rep recounts shooting: We were 'literally crying for help'
© Greg Nash

A congressman who was present during Wednesday morning's shooting at a GOP baseball practice recounted the incident in detail, saying lawmakers and others were “literally crying for help.”

Rep. Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannRep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Tenn.) said in a phone call to CNN that he was walking toward home plate when he “heard a single large pop” that he thought sounded like a gunshot.

“Fortunately, the Capitol Police were there, but apparently they only had pistols,” Fleischmann said. “So we were really literally crying for help, and help did finally arrive.”


Fleischmann said he has not heard “anything at all” regarding the motive for the attack, which took place at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., as Republican lawmakers practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game set to take place Thursday evening.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several other people were shot.

“When I heard that first pop rang out, I thought it was a gun,” Fleischmann recalled. “I didn’t know it was a gun, but within a matter of 30 seconds there was a barrage of bullets flying everywhere.”

Echoing accounts by other lawmakers who were present, Fleischmann said the shooting would “have been a lot worse” had the Capitol Police not been on duty at the game. The officers were present as part of the security detail for Scalise, a member of the GOP leadership.

“It seemed like an eternity. In reality, it was probably only a few minutes,” Fleischmann said of the wait for police backup.

The congressman said he does not “see how the game could go on,” referring to the scheduled bipartisan Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Thursday.

"Our thoughts and prayers have got to be with those people who were shot and are severely injured,” he said.