Sen. Rand Paul recounts his experience at Va. baseball field

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul recounts his experience after shots fired at GOP baseball practice

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- ABC News George Stephanopoulos reached out Ky. Senator Rand Paul Wednesday morning to recall what happened at the practice for an upcoming GOP Charity baseball game in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. where a gunman opened fire injuring congressional lawmakers.

Below are questions and answers between Paul and Stephanopoulos.

‘I’m behind a tree now right next to the batting cage and I'm seeing shots skipping off of the warning track... Sen. Paul says.

Were the shots coming from one place senator? Stephanopoulos asks.

Well, that's the strange thing, at first you're not sure, but my instincts say they were coming from third baseline and I couldn't see the shooter but I wasn't positive if I was standing on the right side of the tree or the wrong side of the tree and I'm looking around trying to determine if there's one shooter or two shooters.

The shots appeared to be coming from third baseline and then the more shots that were fired were at least 50 or 60 shots fired and at that point, people were dropping and at least one of the staffers may have been hit in right field and another one... I said do you want to try to get out? And all of a sudden he was up and was over the 20-foot fence in about to seconds and I've never seen someone trying to climb a fence that fast in my life...

He came tumbling over the other side, and we were behind a tree and shots were continuing and I think he was reloading and at that point, you know a burst of more gunfire came and so he and I were discussing what to do.

I felt like, my instincts, he was moving and that he could just move around the entire field and shoot everybody so at that point we decided to make a run for it and he was hitting the dirt around us out in right field so it was a risk to stay and a risk to go ahead and make a run for it. We had to climb a couple of more fences at that point to get out.

Could you actually see the shooter or you're just seeing the shots? Did you get a good look at who this person was? -Stephanopoulos

At first, I'm seeing the shots. I'm pretty far away, I'm in right field outside of the ballpark. This guy is outside of the ballpark on the third baseline near the dugout and I think he's using the dugout... the edge of the center block of the dugout for cover but everybody was saying he has a blue shirt on. And people were able to see him. I can't say that I ever saw him but it felt like he was shooting a rifle and people are saying it sounded like an AR-15.

So he had a rifle and he's hitting people from a long way away...

And Senator where did you go next? You just made a run for it?- Stephanopoulos

We were there for probably, oh. I don't know, it seemed like forever... What we finally heard was the Capitol Hill Police returning gunfire and these guys were real heroes and without them, I think everybody would've been killed.

You did have security detail there, you don't go with security detail but it seems like, had they not been there the shooter would've had free range… ; Stephanopoulos

Well, Steve Scalise is in leadership and that's the only reason why there was security detail there at all. I'm sad that he was shot but he actually saved everybody's life by being there. He had the two security details. And I'm telling you I don't know what happens if no one’s returning fire because even with two professional’s returning fire, they were both shot. Both the Capitol Hill policemen were shot and yet one of them I'm told even being shot in the end was still protecting Scalise in the end.

And can you tell us (ABC) who was practicing this morning? The entire Republican team?; Stephanopoulos

Yea, we have a charity game we play each year. Republicans vs. the Democrats and there's probably 15-20 of us out there. Mostly congressmen, a couple of senators, and then the Democrats do the same thing at their field and then we meet every year and we're supposed to play at National Stadium. It's fast-pitched baseball and everybody wears the uniform of a team from their state. My city has a college team, Western Ky. University, I wear their uniform and it's a great thing. My dad use to always say it’s one of the best bipartisan things we do in Congress is getting together outside of the legislator and playing America's past time.

We're glad you're ok and we see Scalise being taken away on a stretcher and appears to be conscious.  We were told he has been shot in the hip. Senator before we let you go, were you able to see if anybody was treating Scalise or had you left the scene by then? - Stephanopoulos

When Capitol Hill police started returning gun fire and it appeared the shooter may have been advancing around behind home plate coming in our direction, that's when we decided that without a gun we weren't much good. We were too far to help the wounded. The wounded were both in the dugout and inside a 20-foot fence and Scalise was shot around second base. He crawled little bit into the outfield but unfortunately, we were too far away and there was still automatic fire coming towards us so at that point we jumped a couple of fences and ran towards the street.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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