SC Congressman returns to Upstate after facing Virginia ballpark - FOX Carolina 21

SC Congressman returns to Upstate after facing Virginia ballpark shooter

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SC Congressman returns to Upstate after facing Virginia ballpark shooter. (FOX Carolina/ June 16, 2017) SC Congressman returns to Upstate after facing Virginia ballpark shooter. (FOX Carolina/ June 16, 2017)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The sound of chaos blew through the streets of Alexandria, Virginia and slid onto a baseball field. It's where a gunman opened fire on GOP lawmakers during a baseball practice.

"It's just surreal looking back at it knowing that I had an interaction with the shooter who could've used that opportunity to make me the first victim," South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan said.

Duncan is back in the Upstate and says he talked to the gunman minutes before the shooting. 

"We were on the first base side in the parking lot when I ran into him and he asked me who was practicing today," Duncan said.

Duncan says he told the shooter, James Hodgkinson, Republicans were practicing. Duncan says he left and minutes later heard a shooting took place at the ballpark. 

"I'm thinking about my colleague Steve Scalise," Duncan said as he referenced an LSU ballcap. 

He's wearing the cap in honor of Congressman Steve Scalise, who represents Louisiana. The shooter
shot Scalise in the hip and two Capitol Hill Police Officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey got shot too.

"He took a bullet in defense of my colleges and they stopped the shooter he's a hero," Duncan said.

Bailey who made his way to the mound on crutches threw the first pitch during the Congressional Baseball Game.

"It was important to play that game and to show America and the world that the people's business is going to go on," Duncan said.

Duncan, who usually plays short-stop moved to second base- a position Scalise planned to play.

"So, I was reminded every time I entered the field what had happened and why I was playing second base and where Steve was fighting for his life," Duncan said. 

He says everyone in the country needs to tone down political rhetoric, including himself.

"So, I hope people will calm down their rhetoric a little bit. Think twice before you do something, read over that even consult somebody. I wish Donald Trump would do that- maybe go to Mike Pence and say 'OK, I'm thinking about sending this tweet out what, what do you think?'"

Duncan says God is good and He put a hedge of protection around him and his colleagues. 

"It's a miracle that more people weren't seriously hurt," he said. "We better live each day to its fullest and you're not guaranteed another second or another minute."

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