Dems took precautionary cover at separate field during baseball shooting

Story highlights

  • The Democratic team was advised to take precautionary cover
  • Rep. Kihuen tweeted a photo of the Democratic team praying for their Republican colleagues

Washington (CNN)The Democratic congressional baseball team, practicing on a separate field Wednesday morning, took cover minutes after the shooting at the GOP congressional baseball team's practice in Alexandria, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told CNN.

"I was in left field. We were taking batting practice. We were all excited," Jeffries said. "In the middle of practice, Coach Mike Doyle, a representative from Pennsylvania, called us into the pitcher's mound, which I thought was weird."
The players were informed that there had been a shooting at the GOP practice on Eugene Simpson Field, according to Jeffries. When the Capitol Police arrived at the Democrats' field -- located more than eight miles away -- they urged lawmakers to shelter in place while they secured the premises.
    "It was unclear whether there would be multiple places of attack," Jeffries explained.
    California Rep. Nanette Barragan tweeted at 8:02 a.m. ET that the Democratic practice at Galludet University had been shut down, and was followed by a similar tweet from California Rep. Jared Huffman.
    A few minutes later, Rep. Ruben Kihuen tweeted a photo of the Democratic team praying for their Republican colleagues.
    Jeffries noted that he had "never felt unsafe" during morning practice.
    "But in retrospect, when you have members of Congress who gather together in the same place every morning with little security, there are vulnerabilities," Jeffries said.

    The Democratic team, like the Republican team, practices as a small group early each morning.
    "We get up every morning and go to practice at 7 a.m. There's usually 12 to 15 of us, men and women. It's a great time together -- a great moment of camaraderie. We do it for charity," Jeffries said.
    GOP Rep. Martha McSally announced later Wednesday that Thursday's congressional baseball game will still go on.