Wounded Congressional Staffer Speak Outs About Virginia Shooting: ‘We Were Just Trying to Stay Alive’

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Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent to Texas Rep. Roger Williams, says he’s “blessed to be alive” after being shot in the leg after a gunman opened fire on a group of Congressman at a baseball field on Wednesday.

Both men sat down for an interview with Today on Thursday, with Barth describing what happened when he was hit.

“I was pinned down in right field,” he said. “At that point, I got struck in leg, and made a run for it. I was running for my life. Got into the dugout and I was bleeding pretty badly, but I was just trying to keep my head down, keep everybody’s heads down, and prevent anything else from happening.”

Barth continued, “We had no idea what was going on. There was a lot of uncertainty, and we were just trying to stay alive.”

Williams said he and others on the scene put a tourniquet on Barth’s leg using Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks’ belt while they hid in the dugout.

Barth credited the two Capitol Hill police at the scene, Special Agent David Bailey and Special Agent Krystal Griner, with saving everyone.

“Thank goodness for Agents Bailey and Griner,” he said. “Without them there would’ve been tremendous loss of life, and I probably wouldn’t be talking to y’all.”

Williams echoed the sentiments about the officers, who were both injured during the standoff.

“The thin blue line worked,” he said. “These officers were fabulous. They saved all our lives. No question that it would have been different if they hadn’t been there, and we owe a lot to them.”

Barth further opened up about his injuries during a Thursday appearance on Good Morning America: He confirmed that when told about his leg injury, he replied, “It’s not a big deal.”

“In the moment I was thinking mainly about just staying alive,” he began. “I wasn’t really thinking about the severity of my injuries.”

WATCH: Congressman Shot in Mass Shooting at Baseball Practice for GOP House Members in Virginia

Five people were hospitalized, including the suspect, when a shooter opened fire on the field where about 25 GOP members of Congress were practicing for a game against their Democratic colleagues scheduled for Thursday. Despite the shooting, the game will go on.

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition after being shot in the hip while playing second base and will need additional surgeries, the MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

The deceased gunman has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/zack-barth-speaks-out-virginia-shooting-wounded-staff-roger-williams/


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