Police, fire officials honored for heroism during Alexandria baseball shooting

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — They rushed in to help victims as a gunman opened fire at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field. Now, they are being honored for their heroism.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce recognized 20 police and fire officials who responded to the June 14 shooting at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park where Republican members of Congress had been practicing for their charity baseball game against Democrats.

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise was critically injured.

“We are deeply grateful to all those who responded,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “It was astounding courage in the face of a totally daunting situation.”

The first responders were honored Thursday during the city’s annual Public Safety & Valor Awards.

“These officers had to deal with a subject that was shooting multiple people,” said Alexandria police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal. “We had officers that exchanged gunfire and officers that provided medical assistance to people who’d been shot. We also had a lot of medical professionals with the fire department who ran to provide help before the scene was safe.”

Scalise, who was shot in the hip, was at “imminent risk of death” when he arrived at D.C.’s MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

In addition to Scalise, four others were injured.

Lobbyist Matt Mika was treated for multiple gunshot wounds, another congressional staffer was shot in the leg and two Capitol Police officers were injured during a shootout with the gunman, James Hodgkinson, who was fatally shot by police.

Those honored from Alexandria’s fire department Thursday included Deputy Fire Marshal Joseph Zarkauskas, Fire Captain Anthony Casalena, firefighter/medic Richard Krimmer, medics Fiona Apple and Chad Shade, and firefighters Tyler Degenhardt, Christopher Smith, Luiz Vasquez, Caleb Hann and Christopher Yashin.

The Alexandria police officials recognized included Lt. Ed Milner and officers Jamie Gernatt, Joseph Winkeler, Benjamin Berlin, David Daniels, Timothy Larson, Angel Semidey, Nicole Battaglia, Alexander Jensen and Kevin Jobe.

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