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Illinois congressman looks back on baseball practice attack

By Cole Lauterbach
Illinois News Network

(ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK) – An Illinois congressman recalled his experience being in the batter’s box when a man started shooting at the Republican baseball practice one year ago.

Rep. Rodney Davis was at bat when Belleville resident James T. Hodgkinson opened fire at the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, one year ago Thursday. Hodgkinson wounded three before he was killed by security guards.

Even a year removed, Davis said the memories still stick.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that morning,” he said.

The Taylorville Republican is wearing an Illinois State University jersey Thursday night for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. The long-standing tradition raises money for a number of charities. This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund in gratitude to the officers that defended lawmakers at the shooting. Last year’s game raised a record $1.5 million.

Davis will be catching for the Republicans. Playing second base is Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was gravely injured in the shooting.

“I got to reflect over the last year and have watched my friends who were shot that day wage miraculous recoveries,” Davis said.

While they may fight with each other on politics, Davis said the game reminds people that lawmakers really do like each other.

“It’s an opportunity to show the American people that we actually do get along as Republicans and Democrats,” he said.

Many used the shooting to call for stricter gun laws. Davis echoed the sentiment of others who were on the field. He said “we need to better enforce current regulations.” He has also noted that, were it not for Scalise’s security detail – Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner – the shooting may have been much worse.

Photo courtesy of Rep. Rodney Davis’ office

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