WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends this morning to reflect on his recovery from the Congressional Baseball Game practice shooting five years ago, where he nearly lost his life. Whip Scalise recounted how the brave U.S. Capitol Police and Alexandria Police Department officers saved both his life and the lives of several other Members of Congress that day on the ballfield. Whip Scalise will start in tonight’s game.
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Carley Shimkus: Hey, good morning, guys. It’s great to see both of you. It’s been five years. What do you remember, Congressman, about that moment? And what do you want other people to remember?House Republican Whip Steve Scalise: Of course, that day, I was just fighting for my life. By the time I got to the hospital, I was in a coma for three days. So you know, it was one of those deals where you knew at the moment something bad was going on, and I felt my body shutting down. But [Congressman Wenstrup] was there the whole time. [He was] checking on me, making sure that he could at least stop the blood. I arrived at the hospital with a zero blood pressure. They said that I didn’t even have a minute left if this guy wouldn’t have jumped into action so quick and, you know, put a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, I wouldn’t have even made it to the hospital. So, he is one of my heroes. Congressman Brad Wenstrup: Yeah, I was fortunate. For some reason, I changed my mind to go to the batting cages instead of the outfield, so I wasn’t trapped on the field. And I could see the shooter, I could see [Whip Scalise], I could see where the Capitol Police were. And so, that was very fortunate, and all I kept thinking was, ‘Keep my eye on [Whip Scalise], get to him as soon as you can.’ It was [a] very eerie sight to see one person left out on that field, and it was [Whip Scalise] laying there. Shimkus: And you’re saying that it could have been much different. You could have been right alongside him, but by the grace of God, you were in a safe location. Congressman Wenstrup: I was in a very good location. Shimkus: When the shooting stopped, you could get to him and save his life. Congressman Wenstrup: I had to move once because the shooter kept moving. And he was one time shooting right down my lane where I was on the other side of the field. But once I had the chance and got out to [Whip Scalise] and assessed him just like I did in Iraq. You know, when you have wounded coming in, and actually, his case reminded me of one in Iraq. So, I knew right away that he was in much more trouble than people thought because they only saw the entry wound and I was able to visualize what was going on inside and take care of him. Shimkus: Is this a situation where time sort of slows down for you as this is all playing out? I can’t imagine what that moment must have been like. Congressman Wenstrup: You know, it’s very strange. Maybe because when you’re in Iraq under heavy fire all the time. So, that was just pretty normal about things. It felt natural. I just went to work, but I was deeply concerned. And fortunately, some of the things I said to the medics before they took him away, it registered that he was in worse shape than most people thought. Shimkus: God put you there for a reason. Congressman Wenstrup: Yep. Shimkus: How are you feeling right now? Whip Scalise: Feeling great. Look, it’s been a long road to recovery, but God performed miracles that day. Putting [Congressman Wenstrup] there, David Bailey, and Crystal Griner with Capitol Police who both were shot during the shootout and yet, ultimately, took the shooter down to save all of us that were there. Shimkus: And you share a unique bond with those people now. Whip Scalise: Yeah, they are just like family. Shimkus: Really? Whip Scalise: And they’re true heroes. Shimkus: So you keep in touch? Whip Scalise: Dave is still on my team. And Crystal, she’s still Capitol Police, and we talk on a regular basis. And on the anniversary of the shooting, we always talk just about that shared experience, and, you know, how lucky we all are that we still get to be with our family, and do the things we love, and it could have turned out very different that day. Shimkus: Never take a moment for granted. Whip Scalise: Never take anything for granted. Congressman Wenstrup: He’s tough. Shimkus: Yes! Congressman Wenstrup: He is tough. I mean, I know everything he went through surgically and all that, and look, he’s out here playing baseball. Shimkus: And you played baseball the next year, and you make an incredible play. Whip Scalise: Again, that was a [God-given] moment. If you don’t believe in miracles, talk to me because I’ll show you a lot of miracles. Shimkus: You should write a book! Whip Scalise: We wrote a book! It’s called ‘Back in the Game.’ Shimkus: Get the book! What’s it called? ‘Back in the Game’? Love it. You guys won last year. Do you think that there’s going to be a repeat performance this year as I’m looking at Congressman Steube? He’s in the dugout right now, and he hit that home run. Whip Scalise: Yeah, he hit the first home run out of the Big League Ballpark in this game. Shimkus: That was unexpected! Whip Scalise: And last year, [President] Biden was actually in the dugout when that happened. This is the big homerun hitter. You’re on Fox News. This guy can knock it out of the park, and he did it in the Big League Ballpark. Shimkus: And he woke up extra early because he was on Fox & Friends First, so you get a gold star as well. Congressman Wenstrup: He’s going to hit two out today. Shimkus: Pressure is on! Whip Scalise: We have to defend our title. This is going to be a really good game. We’re ready to play. Shimkus: Well, it’s so good to see you. I love coming to this event. The energy is amazing. And it is a bipartisan event. It’s a lot of fun. Whip Scalise: And we raised about $1.5 million for local charities too. It is really great who it helps. Shimkus: $1.5 million? Can’t believe it. That is amazing. That’s something that everybody can celebrate, right? Guys, back to you in the studio.