Five police officers who responded to the shooting at a baseball practice involving Republican members of Congress in June were awarded the U.S. Capitol Police’s highest honor on Thursday.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was seriously wounded in the attack, said Capitol Police special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, two of the officers being honored, were “like family.”
Griner, Bailey and three Alexandria police officers — Nicole Battaglia, Alexander Jensen and Kevin Jobe — were given the Capitol Police Medal of Honor. Historically, the award is given only to members of the Capitol Police, but an exception was made for the responding Alexandria officers. The incident occurred at a park in Alexandria.
“The United States Capitol Police stand as constant guards, routinely putting service before self,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “These women and men we are honoring today ran toward the threat and stopped it.”
Scalise also said during the ceremony at the Capitol that Bailey’s mother had flown in from Brazil to see her son being honored. Scalise spoke directly to her when he said, “Your son saved the lives of over a dozen members of Congress and the staff.”
All five officers were previously honored with the Medal of Valor in a ceremony on July 27 at the White House.
At that ceremony, President Trump called the officers “American heroes” and said that the attack “reminded us that heroes walk in our midst, that love triumphs over tragedy, and that our resolve is stronger than ever.”
On Thursday, the Capitol Police Medal of Merit also was given to Scalise, Matt Mika and Zack Barth, all of whom were injured in the shooting. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the manager of the Republican baseball team, and Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tex.), coach of the Republican baseball team, also received the Medal of Merit.