DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The shooting in Alexandria, Virginia is hitting especially close to home for Ohio lawmakers.
According to state lawmakers, word spread quickly in Columbus when news first broke of the shooting Wednesday morning. An Ohio congressman is now being praised as a hero for quick-thinking that helped save the life of one of his own.
People were seen running for safety Wednesday as gunfire erupted on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
“At the end,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup said. “There were shells everywhere.”
A congressional baseball practice was turned into a war zone. The gunman was identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson. Among the victims are Louisanna Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
“I went out to Steve,” Congressman Wenstrup said. “As a few others did and could see where he got shot because the bleeding was evident on his baseball pants. I looked for the wound. Found the entry wound. Did not find an exit wound. That was one of the things that concerned me greatly.”
Congressman Wenstrup was previously a medic in the Iraq War. He says he was in the right place at the right time.
“Steve was awake,” Congressman Wenstrup said. “He could talk. I asked him to count to 5 and he did. He said he was thirsty and I wanted him to get fluids because I don’t know how much he’s bleeding inside.”
Medics arrived in minutes, taking Congressman Scalise to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
News of the shooting sent shockwaves from Washington to Columbus.
“It happens way too often,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said. “Around our Capitol.”
“We’re at a time in our country,” Rep. Niraj Antani said. “Where we all just need to take a step back.”
Both sides of aisle are now coming together and standing strong, calling for unity.
“We need it,” Congressman Wenstrup said. “We need it desperately. I wrote a piece about it a week ago. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”
The Congressional Baseball Game for Charity is set to resume as planned. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST at Nationals Ballpark in Washington.