Colorado Lawmakers Share Disbelief, Sadness Over Shooting At Congressional Baseball Practice

Jun 14, 2017

A gunman opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. on June 14, wounding several people including Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

While none of Colorado’s congressmen are on the Republican team, Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Rep. Jared Polis play for the Democrats and were at practice across town when they learned about the shooting.

Perlmutter said when police told the team what happened, they were in total shock.

“We were numb,” Perlmutter said. “We didn’t know what to say.”

Practice was paused as the lawmakers said a prayer for their Republican colleagues, and waited for more information, said Perlmutter.

Polis said the baseball game is an annual event for charity and he hopes the shooting is an isolated incident.

“It’s always been in the spirits of good fun and innocence,” Polis says. “This [the shooting] unfortunately casts a shadow on that.”

Colorado lawmakers—Republican and Democrat—shared their thoughts on social media.

Others released statements, including Sen. Michael Bennet, who praised the first responders. saying we must “never take for granted the heroism of the Capitol Police.”

Sen. Corey Gardner offered prayers for Scalise and “the other men and women that were wounded in this horrific attack,” in his official statement.

Rep. Ken Buck said he was “devastated to hear about the shooting” in a news release. He said Scalise is a good friend.

“Members of Congress, our staff, and visitors to the U.S. Capitol place our safety in the hands of the Capitol Police every day knowing how capable and professional these men and women are,” Rep. Diana DeGette said in a statement. “As our thoughts turn to their injured colleagues, we also extend our deepest gratitude for the service of the entire force.”

The Congressional Baseball Game is an annual event for charity, this year benefiting Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Literacy Center and the Nationals Dream Foundation. One of the few traditions to survive the highly partisan political climate, the game is still scheduled for Thursday, June 16.