Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) provided a chilling first hand account on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" of the shooting that occurred at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Paul said he was in the batting cage when the gunman fired the first shot, which he initially thought was an isolated shot. He then said there was a rapid succession of five or 10 shots.
"In the field, I see Rep. [Steve] Scalise [R., La.] is shot, but moving and he's trying to drag himself through the dirt out into the outfield," Paul said. "There are two staffers in right field only about 10 feet from me, but there's a 20-foot fence separating me from them and they were laying down, but then I'm seeing shots hitting the dirt around them."
He then detailed how one of the staffers scrambled over the fence in about two seconds before hiding behind a tree with Paul, where they were trying to determine where the shots were coming from.
"At one point it appeared the gunman continued to reload. I probably heard 50 [or] 60 shots and then finally we heard a response from the Capitol Hill police and we're actually very lucky they were there. They do a great job. These are brave men and women and we were really lucky they were there," Paul said.
Host Mike Brzezinski asked Paul whether there was any encounter between the shooter, Scalise's security detail, and the Capitol Hill police.
"I could see the [perpetrator] way in the distance and everybody was saying he had a blue shirt on, but I could not see—the gun sounded like an AR-15 to most of us and we couldn't see the gun, but it was a rifle," Paul said.
Paul also revealed that if Scalise had not been on their team, then there was a good chance that everyone on the team would have been killed.
"One of the things that's really fortunate, everybody probably would have died, except for the fact that Capitol Hill police were there. The only reason they were there was because we had a member of leadership on our team," Paul said. "By [Scalise] being there, it saved everybody else's life because if you don't have a leadership person there … there would have been no security there."
Paul praised the Capitol Hill police again for preventing a "massacre."
"The Capitol Hill police, from my understanding, is incredibly brave and probably saved the lives of everybody there. Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre because there's no escaping a guy who has several hundred bullets," Paul said. "We had no weapons and no place to hide, so if he had advanced on the rest of us, there would have been no chance. The only chance we had was that the shots were returned by the Capitol Hill police."
Paul said that the Republican members of Congress had been practicing on the baseball field for two months preparing for the annual congressional baseball game that will take place on Thursday.