Victims in baseball-field shooting all came to Washington to serve

Scalise remains in critical condition at hospital
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., seen here in 2014.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., seen here in 2014.

WASHINGTON — They came from places across the country as diverse as Michigan, Texas and Louisiana, but all the victims of Wednesday’s shooting had made their way to the nation’s capital for one purpose: to serve.

One is a high-ranking congressman. Another is a congressional aide turned lobbyist. A third answers constituents’ letters for a representative. Two others are law enforcement officers.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., a gregarious lawmaker who rose from the backbench to leadership in Congress, is the most well known. The 51-year-old lawmaker became House majority whip in 2014 after winning a Republican caucus election in a landslide.

RELATED: Trump visits D.C. hospital treating Rep. Scalise

Scalise, who won his first House race in 2008, is a proud Cajun whose district wraps around New Orleans. By virtue of his leadership position, Scalise is one of 10 members of Congress who has a regular Capitol Police security detail that travels everywhere with him.

Before arriving in Washington, Scalise served in the Louisiana legislature. He won his seat in a special election after then-congressman Bobby Jindal, another Republican, became governor in 2009.

A fast riser, Scalise won a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a prized panel with jurisdiction over vast amounts of industry. After the 2012 elections, Scalise won the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee, a longtime caucus of House conservatives.

In June 2014, after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor , R-Va., lost a primary election and resigned from Congress, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., jumped up from the whip spot to the No. 2 position. Scalise had several opponents in the whip race but won by a wide margin on the first ballot.

The GOP whip operation, under McCarthy and Scalise, has faced many difficult votes and has not succeeded in securing enough support for passage on some prominent roll calls. When major legislation wins passage, Scalise’s team celebrates with a bottle of champagne and the cork is dated, noted with which legislation passed, and saved for history’s sake.

Scalise remains in critical condition at a hospital. He will require “additional operations.”

Matt Mika is a lobbyist in the Washington office of Tyson Foods. He was a congressional staffer who most recently worked as a senior legislative assistant for Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., before leaving Congress for the private sector.

It is common for staff, former staff and lobbyists to participate in the nearly daily practices in the weeks leading up to the Congressional Baseball Game, aides said.

Mika’s family released a statement saying he was a native of Oakland County, Michigan, and had worked for two other Republican congressmen and a Michigan state representative.

“Baseball is one of his great passions and he has always loved the Congressional team,” his family wrote in the statement.

Mika was shot several times and is in critical condition. His family said in their statement he was in surgery Wednesday.

Zach Barth serves as a legislative correspondent for Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. Legislative correspondents answer constituents’ letters and handle some legislative issues.

According to the website Legistorm, Barth has worked for Williams since fall 2016 and, before that, worked for Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, who retired in January.

In Neugebauer’s office, Barth was a policy assistant and staff assistant, according to Legistorm.

Barth graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 with a degree in government, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Williams tweeted Wednesday that Barth “is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, one of two officers wounded Wednesday morning, has been a member of the department for nine years, according to a LinkedIn account under his name.

He lists his primary duty as the “protection of life and property.” In addition to protecting members of Congress, he enforces traffic rules and investigates crimes.

Previously, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for three years and attended North Carolina Central University, according to the LinkedIn account. Family members did not respond to requests for comment.

The Capitol Police said Bailey was treated for a minor injury and released from the hospital.

Little is known about Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner. Family members did not respond to requests for comment. The Park Police said Griner was in good condition after being shot in the ankle.

Both Griner and Bailey were hailed as heroes by lawmakers, who said the shooting could have been much worse if they weren’t on the scene.

“The heroes are the police officers who attacked the shooter and in doing so probably saved many, many lives,” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said.

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane, Sean Sullivan, Lynh Bui and Michael Miller contributed to this report.

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