Gunshot victim reunites with paramedics at GOP baseball practice

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — At the GOP congressional baseball team’s first practice since last June’s shooting, one of the most seriously injured victims reunited with two paramedics who helped save his life — and used a baseball analogy to describe how lucky he feels.

“Every day you come out here it’s 0-0, no matter what you did yesterday,” said Matt Mika, a Tyson Foods lobbyist who was shot twice during last year’s incident at Eugene Simpson Field, in Alexandria. “No matter what you did yesterday, you can forget it and move on past that horrible incident.”

Mika, the director of government relations for Tyson’s D.C. office, was one of the ballplayers who helped prepare the rain-soaked field for practice, raking away puddles from near first base.

Mika recalled what happened when a man, who later was identified as James Hodgkinson, opened fire from near the third base dugout of the field, located on East Monroe Avenue.

“I  was standing by the first base dugout — I got shot once in the chest, trying to leave,” said Mika. “And then, when I was behind the SUV, next to Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey, I got shot in the arm.”

Griner and Bailey were part of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s security detail. Scalise was the most seriously injured in the June 2017 shooting.

Mika displayed a long scar on his left forearm. “I have full function, but I still can’t feel my hand.”

Paramedic Chad Shade, and now- retired paramedic Fiona Apple said they are delighted by Mika’s progress.

Apple said when she first saw Mika’s injuries, she didn’t expect him to survive.

“Matt didn’t look very well, and I was very concerned,” Apple said. “Fortunately we got him out of here very quickly, and got him to (George Washington University Hospital) in 10 minutes. Everything fell into place for him.”

Mika agreed.

“Luckily, Chad and Fiona were able to get me out of here in time, and over to the hospital. With their training, and the grace of God, I’m standing here,” he said.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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