First, he helped a bleeding man, then Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake called the man’s wife.
“I just didn’t want her to wake up and hear the news and not know what was going on.”
Flake was at the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., where a gunman opened fire on a congressional practice Wednesday. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot in the hip and four others were also wounded.
Scalise was in critical condition after surgery.
President Donald Trump said at a press conference that the suspect, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, had died of his injuries.
The Arizona senator was among the first to reach Scalise, who had dragged himself from the infield to the outfield, while law enforcement tried to contain the suspect.
“(Scalise) laid out there alone for 10 minutes,” Flake said. No one could reach him because of the gunfire. There may have been as many as 50 shots.
After the bullets stopped flying, he and Rep. Brad Wenstrup eventually made their way to Scalise.
“We applied pressure to the wound. He was coherent the whole time,” Flake said.
When medical personnel began taking care of Scalise, another thought crossed Flake’s mind.
“I got his phone and called (Jennifer Scalise).”
The Arizona senator had just finished batting practice and gone into the outfield when the shooting began.
“All of sudden we heard a shot. A very loud shot, then boom, rapid succession after that. He had a rifle of some type.”
Those on the diamond and in the field rushed to the dugout for cover but some suffered injuries.
Flake also helped tend to the wound of an aide who had been shot in the leg.
The 54-year-old legislator fielded phone calls from a number of concerned friends, coworkers and a former president.
The GOP team was practicing for Thursday’s annual charity game against Democrats.
House Speaker Ryan said the game would be played as scheduled.
Flake told KTAR News’ Griselda Zetino Wednesday evening that he is planning on playing in the game and he hasn’t heard about anybody planning to skip it.
“I think, by and large, I think everybody will want to go play,” Flake said. “I think we want to send a message that we go on.”
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