Capitol Police officer played high school and collegiate basketball
The Wednesday morning shooting at a congressional baseball practice could have been much worse if it was not for the presence of Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey.
Rep. Steve Scalise was standing near second base when shots rang out from behind the third base dugout. After being hit by a bullet, Scalise clamored away from the line of fire while special agents Griner and Bailey engaged the shooter, James Hodgkinson, and eventually killed him.
"I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts, that without these two heroes -- Agent Bailey and Agent Griner -- many lives would have been lost," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a speech on the House floor.
Former Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told the Baltimore Sun that Griner followed her training and called her a hard worker, two traits she had developed on the basketball court, a former teammate said, according to Heavy.com.
"Crystal was a ferocious athlete," Griner's former teammate said. "I can absolutely see that side of her coming out in the situation she found herself in at the Congressional baseball game."
Griner graduated from Hood College in 2006 where she played basketball. She was a standout for the team, even as a freshman.
"She was intense, very tenacious," Scott Robinson, who coached Griner at Mt. Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Maryland, said to the Baltimore Sun. "She was a really good rebounder.
"Her heroic actions yesterday don't surprise me in the least."
Griner and Bailey were taken to the hospital where they were treated for their wounds.
"I'm grateful that Special Agent Griner is in good condition in the hospital having been shot in the ankle, and Special Agent Bailey was treated and released having sustained a minor injury during the incident," U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said in a statement Wednesday.