Rand Paul says Alexandria shooting would have been a 'massacre' without Capitol Police
Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field Tuesday when bullets began flying.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field Tuesday when bullets began flying.
In an interview with WDRB News on Tuesday afternoon, Paul said he was standing in right field when he first heard the shots.
"Five to ten shots, then 15 more shots, and then altogether, maybe 50-60 shots," Paul recalled. "I'm out in the right field batting cage at this point. I see Rep. Scalise at second base go down pretty early in the shooting. I see a couple of staffers sprinting around the warning track and the outfield from left field over by the shooter to right field where I am. As they plop down on their stomach on the warning track, I see bullets flying around them."
Paul says the gunman, now known to be James Hodgkinson of Illinois, began heading in his direction. He and others had to make a decision whether to run across an open field and try to jump a fence, making them even more of a target.
"We were making that decision whether to stay or go, then we hear Capitol police begin to engage the shooter," Paul said. "And so we can hear the pistol shots now going up against a rifle. And in that gunfight, the Capitol Hill Police are both wounded, but they bring down the shooter."
Paul said there is no doubt Capitol Police saved his life.
"I think it would have been a massacre without the Capitol Police," he said. "Their heroism and bravery ... just amazing."
Paul said the fact that the shooting was politically motivated should make all of us stop and think.
"I hope if there's any message the public gets is we don't have to be that angry with each other," he said. We can disagree, and I'm not saying it has to be no disagreement. I'm a debater. I'm on the floor sometimes debating my own party, as I was this week. But we need to not squelch debate or expression, but we need to realize that we don't have to impugn the motives of our foes."
Paul says the shooting likely means even more security for members of Congress, but he hopes it doesn't mean more isolation.
- Details emerging about gunman in attack on GOP baseball practice
- Hospital says Rep. Scalise in critical condition following surgery
- TRANSCRIPT | President Donald Trump addresses nation after shootings in Alexandria, Virginia
- VIDEO | Senators Mitch McConnell, Charles Schumer address Alexandria, Virginia, shootings on Senate floor
- VIDEO | Sen. Jeff Flake says accounts of 50 shots during gunfight are an 'understatement'
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