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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Reps. Ron DeSantis, Tom Rooney at baseball practice just before gunman opened fire



Florida Reps. Ron DeSantis and Tom Rooney were at the baseball practice this morning in Alexandria, Va., but both left shortly before a gunman opened fire.

DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, described the events on Fox Business Network:

“I had already taken ground balls, hit. Jeff Duncan, who I ride with, from South Carolina, he had done. So I ... and I was actually at third base he was at short. We were just shagging balls. He was at second. I told Jeff, 'Hey, we got to get on the road so we beat traffic,' so we left about ten after seven. I think shots began you know within 3-5 minutes after that.

"We reported to police that there was a gentleman that confronted us when we were going to our car and he wanted to know whether it was Republicans or Democrats that were out there. We said it was Republicans and he kind of started walking to the field. I don’t know if that was the guy, but I think it’s important to put that information out there and it was a little bit different than someone would do that. He was really interested in wanting to know who was out there."

Rooney told the Palm Beach Post he left the practice about 7:05 a.m. to take his kids to school, about four minutes before the shooting began.

Original post:

Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis was on the baseball field in Virginia this morning when a gunman opened fire, hitting House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said several other people also were hit, including two law enforcement officers, according to reports. He said DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, was standing at third base and had not yet come in to bat when the shooting occurred.

"He was due to bat, but that probably saved his life," Brooks told CNN. "He had come in he might have been the first to get shot."

Former Rep. David Jolly tells us that Scalise's sister, Tara, lives in Pinellas County.

Rep. Dennis Ross: “Cindy’s and my thoughts and prayers are with Whip Scalise, the staff, the Capitol Police officers, and the family and friends of those hurt. Our deep appreciation goes out to the Capitol Police and local law enforcement officers for their protection.”

[Last modified: Friday, June 16, 2017 10:57am]


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