Instead of remembering the shooter’s name, many said after the congressional baseball tragedy, let’s remember the names of the Capitol Police heroes who saved so many lives on June 14.
The two police officers’ quick-thinking instinct to confront – and shoot – the gunman was credited with preventing a potential bloodbath of many of the nation’s political elite. Senators. Congressmen. Their staffers. All had gathered – along with children – to practice baseball for an eventual game to benefit charity.
“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre,” U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., said to MSNBC.
James T. Hodgkinson, a disgruntled former home inspector from Illinois, a man bearing many political grudges, toward Donald Trump, toward Republicans in Congress, showed up toting a rifle. He may not have counted on Griner and Bailey – two armed security officers – being present at such a theoretically open and soft target.
He asked whether Republicans or Democrats were playing. When he learned Republicans were playing, he opened fire apparently indiscriminately, shooting multiple people and sending people scrambling for their lives. That’s when Griner and Bailey sprang into action.
Griner and Bailey were at the game guarding Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, who is the House Whip. Because Scalise is a member of House Leadership, he is entitled to round-the-clock protection from Capitol police that all lawmakers do not automatically get.
Both Griner and Bailey, according to numerous eyewitness reports, shot the gunman before he could do more damage, both being injured as a result. Griner was shot, but is recovering in the hospital, where she and her wife, Tiffany, were given a bouquet of white flowers by President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, according to a White House pool report. Scalise, too, is recovering in the hospital but is in critical condition.
Three others were wounded: Bailey and Zack Barth, a congressional staffer, who do not have life-threatening wounds, and lobbyist Matt Mika, whose wounds are considered serious. All five of those wounded:
Politician after politician, from House Speaker Paul Ryan to Donald Trump, praised the heroics of the two Capitol police officers, without whom there might have been an even greater national tragedy.
Griner is a former standout high school and college athlete. She played basketball at Hood College in Maryland. She studied biology before turning to law enforcement, and in school, she was a gifted academic as well as a multi-sport athlete. She was remembered by one former college classmate as a ferocious competitor. She drew on all those talents on June 14.
Bailey has been working as a United States Capitol Police Officer for over nine years. His LinkedIn page says that as a Capitol Officer, he is “responsible for the protection of Members of Congress, Officers of Congress, and their families as expanded by statute to the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia.” As part of his job, Bailey also prevents, detects, and investigates criminal acts and enforces traffic regulations. His page reveals that he was an administrator at the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Falls Church, Virginia, from 2005 to 2008. Bailey, as with Griner, is 32.
Read more about Bailey here:
David Bailey: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
David Bailey was one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the Alexandria shooting at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday.
Click here to read more
Read more about Griner here:
Crystal Griner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Crystal Griner was named as one of the heroic Capitol police officers who stopped gunman James Hodgkinson at a Congressional baseball game.
Click here to read more