Congressman Roger Williams returns to Austin after shooting

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-area Rep. Roger Williams is back in town after an emotional five days since a man open fired on a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. last week.

During a news conference at the Texas State Capitol on Monday afternoon, Williams recounted what happened the morning of June 14. Williams was hitting the ball during fielding practice when the gunfire started.

“The perpetrator kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting,” Williams said. “All we had was balls and bats to defend ourselves.”

Williams wore a boot on his right foot, saying he would be on crutches for six weeks after diving into one of the dugouts and injuring his ankle. His legislative correspondent, Zach Barth, got shot in the calf. He was treated and released from the hospital the same day.

When asked about tightening security for lawmakers, Williams argued that he believed access to public officials was important.

“If you have a group of congress people, 25 people, 10 people, Republicans, Democrats, and they’re in a group I would like law enforcement to begin to think more seriously about more protection,” he said, referring to the group as “sitting ducks.”

Williams said he hoped Wednesday’s shooting would provide an opportunity to create a dialogue about future safety precautions for officials and the public.

“These are serious times, there’s a lot of people that are angry out there,” Williams said. “Somehow, we need to be able to dial the rhetoric back, where people can agree to disagree, and do it in the right way. I hope that what happened last Wednesday is a starting point where people will begin to understand that.”

 

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