Mid-South Congressman who dodged gunfire talks about D.C. shooting

Scene of GOP baseball shooting (Source: NBC News)
Scene of GOP baseball shooting (Source: NBC News)

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - A Mid-South representative was playing third base when a gunman opened fire on Congressman in Virginia.

Trent Kelley, who represents Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, was back at work just hours after the shooting.

Four people were injured Monday morning when James Hodgkinson, 66-year-old from Chicago, opened fire on a group of Congressmen, aides, and lobbyists practicing for a charity baseball game.

Kelly said Capitol Police sprung into action, likely saving many lives.

"They are warriors, and they are heroes, and they saved countless lives out there this morning," Kelly said.

Kelly was the closest Congressman to the shooter when the shots started. He was not injured.

One lawmaker said Kelly zigzagged across the field to try and escape the barrage of gunfire

Kelly spent 30 years serving in the Mississippi National Guard. He's also done two tours of duty in Iraq and has two bronze stars.

"He's faced fire before, but not in a baseball uniform--not in a peaceful setting practicing the American sport of baseball," Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said.

Kelly's wife and children live about 11 miles from Tupelo, a city where he is well-known and liked.

Kelly has a law degree from Ole Miss, and he's served as city attorney and district attorney in the Tupelo area. In 2015, he was elected to represent Mississippi's 1st Congressional District.

"When something like this happens, especially to some one that you know, it really brings it down back to home," Voz Vanelli of Tupelo said.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically injured and is in the hospital. The other people injured in the shooting include lobbyist Matt Mika, Congressional staffer Zach Barth and Capitol Police officer Krystal Griner.

Capitol Police returned fire and killed Hodgkinson. The FBI is investigating Hodgkinson and have asked for any information about him.

Kelly and the rest of Washington said they will not let this criminal activity stop the charity baseball game, which will be broadcast live on CSPAN at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday.

"We--both parties--will continue to do the people's work even in the face of these type of things," Kelly said.

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