A lobbyist who was shot multiple times at a Congressional baseball game said it felt like ‘time stopped’.
Matt Mika, who is still recovering from his injuries, described the harrowing moment James Hodgkinson opened fire at members of Congress during the baseball practice at a park in Alexandria, Virginia, on the morning of June 14.
Mika, 38, told Good Morning America he would never forget the moment he locked eyes with Hodgkinson.
Matt Mika who was shot multiple times at a Congressional baseball game said it felt like ‘time stopped’
‘I could see his eyes and the gun, but that was it,’ he said. ‘After that, I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here. I’ve got to run as fast as I can, and move.’
‘We all yelled ‘Gun!’ I don’t know who yelled it first, and we started running,’ Mika said, saying he cannot recall the exact place or moment when he was first shot. ‘All I know is when I got around to the gate I had blood all over my chest, on my pants.’
Mika was one of five people shot while the Republicans’ baseball team was practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, a widely attended charity event.
Congressman Steve Scalise was seriously injured, while two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House GOP aide Zack Barth suffered minor injuries.
Mika, who is still recovering from his injuries, described the harrowing moment James Hodgkinson opened fire at members of Congress during the baseball practice at a park in Alexandria, Virginia, on the morning of June 14
Scalise’s security detail and other police officers shot and killed the assailant, James Hodgkinson of Illinois, who had lashed out against President Donald Trump and other Republicans over social media.
The incident was over within just six minutes but Mika said it felt like so much longer than that.
‘Time stopped, it just stopped, he said.
Mika said that during the fracas, he saw the 10-year-old son of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who he grabbed and pushed into the safety of a concrete dugout.
He then ducked behind an SUV in the parking lot when he was shot again. He believes that the fact his hands were up by his head, protected him from what could have been a fatal head shot.
Bullet holes remain at the baseball park in Alexandria, Virginia, three months after the shooting
Mika, 38, told Good Morning America he would never forget the moment he locked eyes with Hodgkinson
Mika also praised Griner and Bailey who protected him despite suffering their own injuries.
He said Griner was shot in the ankle, but ‘used her gun to get back up and re-engaged in the shooter.’
‘I wouldn’t be here right now,’ Mika said, if they hadn’t been at the game. ‘And we’d be talking about a massacre.’
Hodgkinson opened fire from behind the third base dugout while the players were on the field. Senator Rand Paul, who was at the scene but was not injured, described it as a ‘killing field’, while Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop said the men were ‘sitting ducks’ for the gunman and his M4 rifle.
Moments before the attack, a man – thought to be the shooter – asked if the group were Republicans or Democrats, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis said. North Carolina Rep. Mike Walker told NBC News the ‘gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.’
Bishop described how one of the cops stood his ground to return fire as the congressmen and at least one of their children dove for cover in a dugout and Scalise dragged himself across the field after being hit, leaving a trail of blood behind him.
Scalise – seen here after being shot in the hip – is still recovering from his wounds
James Hodgkinson, (pictured) who shot Scalise and others at the baseball practice in Virginia had with him a piece of paper with doodles and the names of three lawmakers, a source familiar with the case says
‘As we were standing here this morning, a gunman walked up to the fence line and just began to shoot. I was standing at home plate and he was in the third base line,’ he told CBS Detroit. ‘He had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out, multiple casualties, and he had several rounds and magazines that he kept unloading and reloading.’
He said: ‘The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover.’
‘We were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit – every single one of us.
‘He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank.’
Lawmakers who witnessed the incident described how Hodgkinson shot Scalise, who was lay bleeding for several minutes but was unable to get medical attention because of the active shooter situation.
Hodgkinson opened fire from behind the third base dugout while the players were on the field, hitting Scalise, while the other Congressman dove for cover
He indicated he was able to get control of the external wound, but wasn’t aware of whether there were internal injuries or internal blood loss. Rep. Mo Brooks described working with Wenstrup to use a belt to make a tourniquet to stop blood loss.
President Donald Trump also praised the two cops for their ‘heroic actions’, saying ‘many lives’ would have been lost if they had not been there.
The group was practicing for a charity match when they were attacked.
Hodgkinson was gunned down by the protection officers who found he had a piece of paper on him with doodles and the names of three lawmakers, according to a person familiar with the case.
The list of names reportedly included Alabama Rep Mo Brooks, South Carolina Rep Jeff Duncan and Arizona Rep Trent Franks.
Gunman Hodgkinson had documented his hatred for the president in Facebook and Twitter posts where he threatened to ‘destroy Trump & co’ and labeled him a ‘traitor’.
He has a history of gun violence, previously pointing one at a man during a family argument in 2006. He was once arrested for domestic battery and faced other charges for DUI, attempting to elude police and obstructing a police officer.
According to the gunman’s family, he was distraught about Trump’s November election win. His estranged brother told The New York Times that he had traveled to Virginia two months ago and had signed up for a membership at the YMCA opposite the baseball field he attacked but cancelled it this week.