Following Wednesday morning’s shooting at a baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing for a charity game, the nation is collectively sending up prayers for Rep. Steve Scalise, the congressman who was critically injured when he was shot in the hip. However, there seems to be one detail about the incident which most people have missed, and it needs to be mentioned.
We have all heard the name of the shooter, James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire with an illegal AR-15 as members of the GOP practiced, but there are two other names which have gone largely unreported: David Bailey and Crystal Griner.
Bailey and Griner are the two members of the Capitol Police who have been credited with preventing an all-out massacre, but you probably haven’t heard their names or seen their faces.
During the shooting at the GOP baseball practice on Wednesday, there were two people who made all the difference in the world. As each person who was there described what had happened during the shooting, each gave praise to two people, the Capitol Police officers who were there, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, saying they helped to prevent a massacre.
While there have been stories and focus on the shooter who was killed as there must be, there are virtually no stories about the two Capitol Police officers. Focus, respect and gratitude should really go to those heros who were described as ‘charging’ or ‘attacking’ the shooter. [Source: Young Conservatives]
Harrowing footage of the shooting reveals Bailey and Griner faced a great challenge, armed only with handguns against Hodgkinson’s AR-15, but they fought heroically, even as they were both injured.
Bailey and Griner, both special agents on Scalise’s security detail, leaped into action when the congressman was shot in the hip and subsequently dragged himself to safety.
Bailey is a nine-year veteran of the Capitol Police force, and previously worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to his LinkedIn page. He graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, in 2007, where he is listed as a former president of the university’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.
Griner is a 2006 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Griner was a basketball star through high school and college, and quickly became one of Hood’s top scorers in her freshman year. The Maryland native mostly “keeps to herself,” one Hill staffer noted. [Source: Daily Beast]
Bailey and Griner were both previously on the security detail of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who had nothing but good things to say about them. “[Griner’s] an incredibly able and professional individual who always takes her job and responsibility seriously,” Cantor said after the shooting. “It is not surprising to hear of her heroism and bravery during this horrible attack.”
“The bravery David showed reflects the kind of commitment he, Crystal, and the team demonstrated each and every day,” he added. “Incidents like the attack today are never something many of us even imagine happening. David is a trained professional who was and remains ready to act whatever the threat. Wishing him a full recovery.”
Without Bailey and Griner, the GOP lawmakers at the baseball field on Wednesday would have been sitting ducks, no match for Hodgkinson’s high-powered rifle. This has prompted members of Congress to call for the ability to carry firearms in the Capitol, where they are currently restricted.
It is thanks to these fearless officers that Rep. Scalise and his colleagues are still alive today. Their story deserves to be shared just as much as James Hodgkinson’s, if not more. As they continue to be treated for their injuries, we wish them a smooth and speedy recovery, and we thank them for their selfless service.