© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Texas Lawmaker Credits Law Enforcement With Saving Lives During Ambush At GOP Baseball Practice

Roger Williams House Website
Texas Rep. Roger Williams (R-Weatherford) is coach for the Republican congressional baseball team. A shooter opened fire on team members and injured at least five as they practiced Wednesday morning.

Texas Congressman Joe Barton of Ennis says Capitol Hill police and security officers are the reason a morning attack on Republican lawmakers did not become a massacre.

Barton is manager for the Congressional Republican baseball team which was practicing for a charity game with Democrats when the gunman opened fire.  The gunman hit Republican House Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others.

Barton told NBC News everyone dove for cover.   

“There were dozens if not hundreds of shots fired.  It was scary.  Some of us were in the dugout. Some of us were on the ground.  I was behind the dugout. My son jack got under an SUV and he was very brave.  My other son Brad was in the batting cage and he also was very brave. “

A legislative aide for Texas Rep. Roger Williams of Weatherford was also hit.  Williams’ office says Zach Barth is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.

CNN has reported that a lobbyist and two members of  Rep. Scalise’s security detail were also injured and are recovering.

The shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Illinois.  Numerous media including the Associated Press report Hodgkinson belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party."