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Rand Paul: shooting at congressional baseball practice “would’ve been a massacre” if not for Capitol Police

Scalise and several others were injured, but it could’ve been far worse, the senator — who was there — said.

Rand Paul, in 2015.
Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call Group / Getty

The shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and several others who are receiving medical attention.

But according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was there, it could have been far, far worse. Had Capitol Police not been there as part of a security detail for Scalise, Paul said in an interview with MSNBC, “it would’ve been a massacre.”

Paul explained that after the gunman fired 50 to 60 shots, hitting Scalise and others, he was eventually taken down by Capitol Police. But, he pointed out, those Capitol Police officers were only there in such force because Scalise himself was present — as Majority Whip, he is a member of the Republican leadership team who travels with a security detail.

“Everybody probably would’ve died except for the fact that the Capitol Hill Police were there, and the only reason they were there is because we had a member of leadership on our team,” Paul said. “If Scalise wouldn’t have been on the team — unfortunately he was hit and I hope he does well — but also by him being there it probably saved everyone else’s life, because if you don’t have a leadership person there, it would’ve been no security there.”

He continued: “Because there’s no escaping a guy with — if he’s got several hundred bullets, and we had no weapons, and no place to hide. So if he would’ve advanced on the rest of us, there would’ve been no chance. The only chance we had was that the shots were returned by the Capitol Hill Police.”

For the latest on the shooting, read our roundup.

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