ALEXANDRIA, Va.-- Rep. Tim Ryan from Ohio's 13th District was at baseball practice when shots were fired in Alexandria Wednesday morning, injuring Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana.
The Republicans and Democrats were holding separate practices for the Congressional Baseball Game, an annual tradition for charity, when the shooting occurred. The game was scheduled for Thursday at Nationals Park.
"As soon as we heard and caught word of this, we immediately shut down practice, we sheltered in the dugout and Capitol police came," said Ryan, a Democrat. "It's very scary. You know, we're out there, we practice every morning for the last few months. The game is tomorrow night. And you know, you're out there on a baseball field and every American knows what that means: You're in a wide open place. They're all members of Congress. A handful of staffers, who coach."
Ryan said since Scalise is a member of party leadership, he had a security detail. But no members of the Democrat team had security detail so there was one Capitol police officer with them.
While the suspect's motive is not known at this time, there is speculation he was targeting Republicans.
"There is absolutely no place for this kind of violence... To do something like this over somebody's position on one issue or another is absolutely ridiculous. This is so offensive to what our democracy should be like," Ryan said.
The Congressional Baseball Game started in 1909 and has been played nearly every year since, with a few interruptions. The Democrats typically dominate the matchup, but Republicans won in 2016.
"This is actually one of the few events a year where Democrats and Republicans are sportsmanlike to each other. We raise money for charity, we tease each other," Ryan said. "Talking about the game afterward, having a few beers after the game. Everybody's sore because we're all old and out of shape. It's one of those few events a year that really bond Democrats and Republicans."