Congressman at Shooting: We Were 'Sitting Ducks'

Mike Bishop: 'By the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2017 9:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – One of the GOP lawmakers present at Wednesday morning's attack on a congressional baseball practice says he and others were "sitting ducks" for the gunman. Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop says the still-unidentified shooter walked up to a fence surrounding the field and opened fire. "He had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out, multiple casualties, and he had several rounds and magazines that he kept unloading and reloading," Bishop tells WWJ radio, per CBS News, which reports the shooting lasted about 10 minutes. "The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover," he says. Among those wounded was Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip.

Details are still unclear, but Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake says a member of Scalise's security team returned fire despite being shot in the leg, reports CNN. (Sen. Rand Paul, who was present, credited Capitol Hill officers at the scene with preventing a "massacre.") Police say a total of five people, including the gunman, received medical treatment. Texas Rep. Roger Williams says one of his staffers is among the wounded, reports the AP. As awful as things were, Bishop says it could have been worse: “He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots," he says of the gunman. "But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank.” (Read more shooting stories.)

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