Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks recounts early morning shooting (Full Transcript and Video)
June 14, 2017 Share

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks recounts early morning shooting (Full Transcript and Video)

PHOTO: Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was at the baseball practice this morning when a gunman opened fire. In a phone interview with CNN this morning, Brooks recounts the terrifying incident. (Wikimedia, “Mo Brooks”)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — (Video at Bottom) Early this morning, shots rang out at a baseball practice for GOP lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia (Part of the D.C. area). House Majority Whip, Congressman Steve Scalise has been shot in the hip, and is reportedly in stable condition. A staffer, and several law enforcement officers were also shot. The gunman, who Fox News identified as James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, was reported dead in the last few minutes by President Trump in his remarks.

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks (R – District 5) was on deck for batting practice when the gunman opened fire, and recounted the incident to CNN:

“Forgive me for my voice cracking a little bit, but the adrenaline and the emotion is still high,” began Brooks.

“Totally understandable. Are you ok? What do you know about the situation there?” CNN asked.

“Right now we’re secure, we get their about 6:15 – 6:30, if you are familiar with the movie, Remember the Titans, we practice on their baseball field. 6:15 – 6:30 tomorrow night is supposed to be the game. Hopefully we’ll have it but I don’t know. It raises about $600,000.00 for charity, and we play it in the Washington Nationals stadium. It’s a pretty good time for all, accept the Democrats have been beating us so much.

I was on deck, about to hit batting practice on the third base side of home plate, and I hear a loud ‘bam’ and I look around, and behind third base and the third base dug out, which is cinder block, and I see a rifle, and I see a little bit of a body, and I hear another bam, and I realize that there is an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise, over near second base, scream, he was shot. he’s our majority whip. The gun was a semi-automatic, it continues to fire at different people. You can imagine, all the people on the field scatter.

I run around to the first base side of home plate. We have got a batting cage with plastic wrapped around it to stop fowl balls. And hide behind the plastic, you know that plastic is not real good. I was lying on the ground with two or three others as the gunfire continues. Heard a break in the gun fire, decided to take a chance. Ran from home plate to the first base dugout, which is also cinder block and is down about two or three feet, so you can have better cover.

There were a number of Congressmen and Congressional Staffers who help us, lying on the ground, one of them was wounded in the leg. So I took off my belt, and myself and another Congressman, I don’t remember who, applied a tourniquet, to try and slow the bleeding.

In the meantime, I’m towards the right field side of the dugout, and there is gunfire within 5, 6, or 7, feet from my head. I look up, and there was a guy with a gun blasting away. Fortunately, it was one of the good guys. One of our security detail who is shooting back. Of course it was pistol versus rifle. Our pistols versus the shooters rifle on the third base line, just outside the chain link fence. He was ordering us to ‘stay down.’

Another security detail person was closer to home plate. Probably on the home plate side of the dugout, outside the base line, using the dugout as cover as he’s firing back. There must have been 50 – 100 shots fired. Hard to itemize them. Eventually, it seems that the shooter shot both of our security detail people. There were some congressman on phones, screaming for reinforcements. It seemed like a long time, and we didn’t even hear sirens

Eventually, the shooter starts circling around third base, now this is my understanding, of course I’m down on the ground helping a guy with a bullet hole in his leg. And the shooter starts coming around home plate to where we are, outside the baseline, and my understand is, that’s where our security detail, maybe some of the ones that were wounded, still defending us, took him down.

Once we got the all clear that the shooter was down we ran out to second base for Steve Scalise, but he had crawled out in the outfield, leaving a trail of blood. And we started giving him some liquids, putting pressure on the wound in his hip. And Brad Wenstrup, Congressman from Ohio… Cincinnati, fortunately he’s a physician, he started doing what you need to do to try and minimize the blood loss.

Shortly there after, the police showed up, again it seemed life forever, but it was probably shorter than what it seemed. A helicopter landed in Centerfield and took away whomever the folks decided was the most wounded, the most critical. I don’t know who that person was. At that time, the police were causing all of us to gather outside the first base line in the chain link fence. And cordoning off the area so we would be better protected if there was second shooter.”

“My gosh, Congressman we can’t believe what you’ve just lived through, and what you and your colleagues just lived through, and be able to recall all these details. Do you have any sense of how many were wounded?” CNN asked.

“I think at least five,” Brooks replied. “One congressman, Steve Scalise at second base. One staffer, I wish I knew his name, but I don’t; the one that was wounded in the leg in the bottom of the first base dugout, the one that we used my belt to put a tourniquet around his leg. Two law enforcement officers. One was shot in the leg, to his credit, after the shooter was down, he went into right field where Steve Scalise was lying on the ground, and helped him.

The other law enforcement officer, capital police or secret service, I don’t know which it is. He was lying next to the security vehicle, I’m looking at him now. It appears that one of the tires have been shot out. If that gives you an idea of what the shooter was doing, as he was trying to take out our security detail before he could get to the rest of us,” said Brooks.

CNN then asked, “Congressman, you don’t know the name of the staffer, but it’s amazing that you were able to, in that moment of crisis, that you were able to give him what mattered most, which was the help, the tourniquet. Such smart thinking for you under that kind of stress.”

“You said the whip, Congressman Scalise, left. Do you know if he was able to move under his own power? Do you know where he was hit? Do you know the extent of his injuries?” the anchor asked.

“No, he was not able to move under his own power,” Brooks replied. “he was dragging his body from the second base infield, where it’s dirt, to the outfield, to get away from the shooter while all this fire is going on. Here we are seeing our colleague, as we are under fire, he’s lying on the ground. But there is not a whole lot you can do, until the situation is under control.

That was of course emotionally distressing. He was shot in the hip. I think it was not a life threatening wound, but I am not a physician. I don’t know how deep into the hip area the bullet went. There was no exit wound that I could see.

Again, when I got out to see, as Brad Wenstrup was helping to cut off his pants. I was applying pressure with a cloth to the wound to try and help stop the bleeding. There was a blood trail about 10 – 15 yards long from where he was shot, to where he crawled right field.”

“Congressman, you said the gunman was taken down, do you know if the gunman was killed?” the anchor asked.

“Well, no I do not know if he was killed, but I tell you, I don’t have any kind thoughts right now about the shooter, so it’s best that I just leave it at that,” replied Brooks.

“The authorities said he’s in custody, but that’s early information. Let’s talk about how you’re doing with all this. It’s amazing that you were able to recount the events as they were going on. You gave aid to two different people that you’ve told us about so far. How are you feeling about everything so far? How is everyone else there?” CNN asked.

“It’s hard to contain the emotions. My adrenaline is raging. Of course, it’s never easy to take when you see people around you getting shot. And you don’t have a weapon yourself, so you are not in a position to where you can help and defend. So you are pretty helpless. It’s not a good situation to be in.

I don’t know what took our security detail as long as it took them to start exchanging fire. Probably they were probably as shocked as we were. It seemed like a long time, but it may have just been seconds. It might have just been 10, or 15, 20 seconds. But the bravery that they displayed……. You know pistols versus a rifle isn’t a fair fight.

“You’re absolutely right about that, especially if the man had time, we’re assuming it’s a man, I’m going to ask you about that in a second….” started the anchor.

“Our security details, and let me emphasize, I don’t know there names, but they exhibited tremendous bravery,” Brooks stated.

“We’re going to find out who they are. We are looking at some of the first images from the YMCA, some glass being shattered. Obviously this was long range weapon, so it was able to put rounds in the surrounding structures and people. We’re you able to see the gunman?” asked CNN.

“I saw, as I’m on the third base side of home plate, swinging a baseball bat because I was first up, when I saw the first shot, I saw the rifle. I was first puzzled as to what the big bang was. I look over there and see the point of the rifle, and I got a glimpse of the shooter, which meant he also could see me if he looked in my direction.

And At that point, I ran around home plate, and hid behind the plastic batting cage. Which plastic won’t stop a bullet, but he can’t see quite as well. And they were probably 10, 20, or 30 shots fired, while two or three of us are lying on the ground seeking cover.” Answered Brooks.



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