BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Alexandria police chief is now describing the moments when law enforcement ran straight into the line of fire, some with no protection, while a gunman shot at members of Congress while they practiced for a baseball game.
The police chief described the scene as a dramatic shoot-out.
He also says it took 4 minutes, 38 seconds to stop the suspect, James Hodgkinson, before he could have done more harm.
Last Wednesday morning, the tranquility in one Alexandria neighborhood was disrupted.
At 7:08 a.m. a resident made the first call to 911, then officers were dispatched about two minutes later.
“I still have shots being fired,” says an officer on radio.
It was becoming more evident that the situation at Simpson Stadium where members of Congress were practicing was serious.
“There is also a victim down in the baseball field,” says an officer.
The first Alexandria officer, a 16-year-vet, arrived on the scene.
“When Kevin arrived on the scene, he parked on Monroe and advanced on foot, without cover towards the gun fire,” says Chief Mike Brown with Alexandria Police Department.
The Alexandria officer became the desperately-needed back-up for Capitol police, including Special Agent Crystal Griner, who lives in Baltimore County.
The agents were already engaged in a fierce gun battle with the suspect. The police chief says the suspect had already fired gunshots toward people on the field.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was one of the victims and he was critically wounded.
“We have another one down, a total of five down.”
By 7:14 a.m., 4 minutes and 38 seconds after officers were first dispatched, the Police Chief said the subject was neutralized and the gun battle was over.
“If you think about travel time, assessing the situation, engaging the suspect, neutralizing the situation, I could not be more proud of the officers of the Alexandria Police Department showed up that day.”
Special Agent Griner was shot in the ankle, and a lobbyist and a congressional staffer were also shot but they are all expected to survive.
Representative Scalise’s condition has been upgraded from critical.
The FBI has asked the public to come forward with any information about the shooter, James Hodgkinson.