Home / National News / Meet the two police officers who prevented a ‘massacre’ at GOP baseball practice

 

(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Capitol Police Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner were identified by House Speaker Paul Ryan as the two officers injured in the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Bailey and Griner were protecting House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who is one of 10 Congress members who have a protective detail due to his leadership role as the third-ranking Republican in the House. Special Agent Henry Cabrera was also protecting Scalise, but was not injured in the incident.

“I want to commend Special Agents Crystal Griner, David Bailey and Henry Cabrera for their heroic and appropriate response in protecting the Members and others,” said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa.

According to Verderosa, Griner was shot in the ankle and is in good condition in the hospital. Bailey sustained a minor injury and has already been released following treatment.

Congressional staffer Zack Barth, who was shot during the incident, has also been released from the hospital, according to a family spokesperson. Scalise and lobbyist Matt Mika remain in critical condition, according to MedStar Washington and a statement from Mika’s family.

Speaker Ryan said he spoke with both special agents Wednesday morning.

“One was being treated and one was about to go into surgery,” Ryan said. “I expressed our profound gratitude to them.”

“It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts, that without these two heroes, Agent Bailey and Agent Griner, many lives would have been lost,” said Ryan, who got a standing ovation from the House chamber.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was one of the GOP lawmakers who witnessed the attack, said, “Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre.”

Capitol Police do occasionally assign an officer to attend baseball practices on a case-by-case basis.

“There’s usually a Capitol Police officer in a car in a parking lot several hundred yards away, but no one on near the field like the Scalise detail was,” Matt Dinkel, the spokesman for Democrat coach Rep. Mike Doyle told ABC News. “That was the situation today.”

“The United States Capitol Police is dedicated to its mission to protect the U.S. Capitol, members of Congress, staff and the visiting public,” Verderosa said. “Today we saw how our officers’ extensive training and quick response saved lives.”

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) choked up while crediting Griner and Bailey for preventing the deaths of the 25 representatives on the field and the 15 staff who joined them.

“There will be those who talk about what’s wrong with America. But in this case, Officers Griner and Bailey, we saw what’s right with America,” Williams said. “We saw two people risk their lives to save the lives of others. We saw courage in the face of death, and we saw examples of why all Americans should be grateful everyday for law enforcement officers around this country.”

Griner and Bailey were widely praised on Twitter for their role in preventing a massacre on the baseball field.

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