Emotions were running high as Congressman Roger Williams from Texas held a press conference to speak about a shooting in Alexandria. Williams was one of dozens that came under gunfire Wednesday at a Republican baseball practice.
‘My family and I will be forever grateful, the thin blue line held today.”
Rep. Williams got emotional while speaking of the officers he said saved his life. “Everybody yelled 'He's got a gun, run for cover!' We were sitting ducks we had nothing to fight back with but bat,” he said.
Williams hurt his ankle diving into the dugout but his concern turned to one of his staffers, Zach Barth who had been shot. “Zach had come running in from the outfield and he literally, we landed in each other’s arms. He held me, I held him.” Barth is a University of Texas graduate and Junior Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Williams.
Williams said Barth was just one of many who showed bravery in the frightening moments.
“All the time he was bleeding and we were under fire he was texting; he was texting letting people know we were under fire and that we needed help.”
Williams said as they were all stepping back trying to get away, it was two Capitol officers who stepped forward and saved the lives of many. “There could have easily been 25 deaths or more today. I think we had 25 team players and about 15 staff. But Officers Griner and Bailey prevented that,” he said.
U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett from Texas called it a senseless tragedy.
“It's an appalling act of violence and violence has no place in our political dialogue.”
While many are now questioning the security of Congressmen, Doggett said it won't slow him down.
“It's part of being in public office, when you put your name out there and you take positions that people may disagree with that you might attract violence. I try to be conscious and vigilant. I try to be protective of my personal staff, but I am not going to slow up in my public engagement because of one apparently crazed person who does violence here in Washington.”
Many political leaders said an attack on one of them is an attack on them all and this attack will not stop them from coming together this year. “America doesn’t give out, America doesn’t give in, and we must play this baseball game, if we don't play this baseball game we go home, then they win,” Congressman Williams said.
Managers for the teams said they are taking security precautions for the players and those in the audience for the game. They also said they added "The Fallen Officers Fund” to their charity list.