Brooks recalls shooting at baseball practice

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) talks to CNN's Alisyn Camerota about the shooting in 2017 during a GOP congressional baseball team practice, calling "it a surge of emotion" and saying they're "ready for a good 2018 game."

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 10:10 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 10:15 PM

Rep. Mo Brooks said he's done his best to move on from the traumatic congressional baseball practice shooting a year ago that shook Washington and left his colleagues emotionally and physically scarred.

"Certainly, you've got the memory of it. And as you can imagine, it was unpleasant, to put it mildly. But we've moved on. I've done my best to move on," the Alabama Republican told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Thursday, adding, "We try to move forward."

Brooks added, "Hopefully, it's behind us. Hopefully, it will never happen again."

Last June, Brooks and his Republican teammates were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, when a gunman opened fire, leaving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise wounded and in critical condition. Several others were shot and wounded in the attack.

Brooks and others there credited two US Capitol Police officers who were part of Scalise's security detail with saving their lives and preventing what "very well could have been a large-scale massacre" that day.

Now, Brooks, Scalise -- who has had a long and difficult recovery -- and the team get ready for the annual baseball game on Thursday, exactly one year after the horrific shooting.

"Our security during practices this year has been excellent," Brooks told CNN Thursday from Nationals Park in Washington, where the annual charity baseball game is played. "I don't think anyone feels we're at risk of being under another attack, at least under the circumstances where we cannot defend ourselves."

Brooks said "emotionally and mentally, we're ready for a good ballgame" and that he's "looking forward to a spirited game" against the Democrats.

Last year's game, the day after the shooting, raised $1.5 million and 24,959 tickets were sold, breaking a record for fundraising and ticket sales, according to the organizers.

Brooks told CNN he hopes at least 10,000 will show up for Thursday's game, the proceeds from which will go to three Washington-based charities that the Congressional Baseball Game has supported in past years, along with the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund "in gratitude to the brave officers" at the shooting.

Last year, the Democrats trounced the Republicans, 11-2. Brooks joked that "hopefully, the Democrats will be a little bit nicer to us this year," but said this year's GOP team is ready for some payback.

"We're ready to take it to the Democrats and do our best," he said.

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