Alexandria little leaguers to reclaim shooting site and play ball

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The ballfield that became a politically charged shooting ground last Wednesday morning gets back to what it was made for Tuesday night: baseball.

The Alexandria Little League is scheduled to reclaim the diamond at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park, six days after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was critically wounded in the attack. Also hit by gunfire were a lobbyist and a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

The gunman was shot to death by police.

“This game will happen, and we are embracing our children of the city,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg, who — with police and fire first responders — will take part in a pregame ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m.

Residents of the Del Ray neighborhood are pleased to see things beginning to return to normal, after police spent days combing the field for spent shell casings and other evidence.

“We’ve got to move on, in a sense, that, it means so much to us, to all of us who live there,” said Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, a Del Ray resident.

Residents and city officials are determined both to see that the high-profile shooting attack June 14 does not define the community, and to see tonight’s Little League games as a milestone in that effort.

“To the children and their families, we are an incredibly safe, peaceful city,” Silberberg said.

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