Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop said he was being hunted by shooter
DETROIT (WJBK) - Michigan Representative Mike Bishop was uninjured in the shooting Wednesday morning in Washington DC where the House Majority Whip was shot in the hip. He told FOX 2 that he felt he was being hunted by the shooter and doesn't know how he and others weren't shot.
Bishop talked with FOX 2 Wednesday morning about two hours after the shooting on the baseball field. He described how the shooting started:
"We were on the field which was enclosed by a backstop and a chain link fence. most of us were standing at home plate waiting for batting practice and along the third base line, a guy started firing and he was right on the fence line, on the other side of the fence. The first shot came and no one thought much, it kind of shocked us all. I did hear a projectile so I knew it was a gun. I turned and ran and realized he was firing more. I ducked and hit the ground like everyone else and there was no shelter there."
Bishop said that the shooter was aiming at the lone exit in the chain link fence.
"There was one way out and he had specifically positioned himself in a spot where he was aiming at the exit. We just couldn't get out."
RELATED: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, several others, shot during congressional baseball practice
Bishop said that the security detail that was on hand for Scalise saved his life and the lives of everyone else there. He said they returned fire as they scrambled for cover.
"We army crawled out of there. I looked back and saw Scalise and saw him go down. I could tell he got hit," he said.
Bishop said that there was only one way out of the baseball field. He said that the diamond was surrounded by the backstop behind homeplate, the dugouts, and chain link except for one gate near the first base dugout. As they scrambled to escape, he said he heard bullets hit the dugout and the fence.
"As he fired, he was making his way around the backstop. His goal was to come around to where we had taken shelter. He knew if he came around, he would get every one of us. I say I feel like we were hunted because I was being hunted"
RELATED: Shooting would have been 'massacre' without Capitol Police, Sen. Paul says
Rep. Bishop told FOX 2 that he didn't know how long the man was shooting.
"I don't know how long it went on, but it must have been 10 minutes," he said.
Rep. Bishop said that the shooter was calm as he pulled the trigger and reloaded and repeated.
"I saw a guy who was very methodical. It occurred to me: how could a guy with such calmness, aim, fire and reload like that, at another human being, knowing full well that he was going to hurt or kill somebody?"
Bishop said he couldn't focus on the man's face as he tried to leave the field and emphasized that the Capitol Police saved his life and the lives of others on the field with him when they started returning fire at the shooter
"I don't think he was too concerned about taking fire because these poor officers were returning fire with handguns. From that distance, it's not effective, especially when fighting a person with a trained rifle. They knew they had very little chance of hitting this guy. They were trying to give us time so he would stop shooting for a second so we could run."
Rep. Bishop said it was a miracle that more people were not injured in the shooting.
"I have no idea how he didn't hit more people. We were right there - you could have been blind and hit people. At the pace he was firing and the amount of ammo he used...(we had) angels on our wings."
Not everyone was lucky to go uninjured. Scalise and multiple staffers and Capitol Police were hit with the gunfire, including one of Bishop's staff members who was hit in the dugout. He said that staffer's blood landed on his shoes.
"Another staffer was hit in the dugout. (It) might be whose blood I have on my shoes," he said.
Bishop said Scalise was conscious but in great pain. One of the members who helped care for him was a Gulf War veteran and doctor who he said saved his life.
He described the scene as a war zone and says he now has to reevaluate how he and other members of Congress will conduct their day-to-day business.
"My immediate response is I don't know how it couldn't change how I do things. My job is to make sure people know where I'm going. We have regular town hall meetings that have lately been very raucous, loud, and angry. I don't fear for my life in that environment, but I might now," Bishop said. "The other day, my car was surrounded and people wouldn't let me move my car. Ordinarily it's an annoyance and I view it as a peaceful protest and wouldn't be upset about it. Now, I don't know how I would react to it."
Bishop said that this shooting should prompt more discussions about the way we treat each other.
"We must have a public discussion about civility and the way in which we treat each other. We have become a very uncivil society. It's very sickening."
Bishop represents Michigan's 8th District which covers Clinton, Ingham, and Livingston Counties, as well as parts of Shiawassee and Oakland Counties.