WASHINGTON — The officers who saved the lives of congressional Republicans as a gunman attacked their early-morning baseball practice six weeks ago were honored with the Medal of Valor in a White House ceremony today.
Capitol Police special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey were honored along with Alexandria Police officers Nicole Battaglia, Alexander Jensen and Kevin Jobe. Griner was on crutches, still recovering from a gunshot wound to the ankle.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was released from MedStar Washington Hospital this week into an intensive inpatient rehabilitation program as he recovers from being shot through the hip and pelvis.
Scalise did release a statement lauding the officers for deserving “the highest national award a public safety officer can receive,” one “given to those who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, to save or protect human life.”
“I cannot think of a group of individuals more deserving of this award” than the officers who saved his life, the congressman added.
“Most people instinctively run from danger, but these officers did not hesitate to put their own lives on the line to run towards it that morning of June 14 to protect the lives of others. David, Crystal, Nicole, Kevin, and Alexander all have families of their own, yet they courageously confronted and stopped the shooter. Everyone who was at the ballpark that morning owes their lives to the selfless and brave actions of these heroes, and I cannot thank them enough,” Scalise said.
“I am especially grateful to Crystal and David, who I have been blessed to have by my side day in and day out in my job as majority whip. I would not be here today without the bravery of Crystal and David. They saved my life, and are my heroes.”
Scalise’s presence was the only reason why the congressmen had security that morning. With backup from Alexandria police, they were able to kill gunman James Hodgkinson.
Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot multiple times in the chest, was released from the hospital on June 23.
“I am thankful to President Trump for recognizing their heroism with this highest honor, and am grateful to all of the men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives to preserve our safety each and every day,” Scalise added. “Congratulations to David, Crystal, Nicole, Kevin, and Alexander.”