MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The country is still on the edge of its seat after an armed man opened fire on a gathering of our nation's leaders at a bi-partisan charity baseball practice. Witnesses, including many high ranking members of congress described what could have been a massacre.
Our own West Texas Congressman Mike Conaway from Midland was there at the practice where the chaos erupted. By the looks of how their day was going, Conaway wouldn't have guessed tragedy was about to happen.
"Oh it was light hearted, people were trash talking each other and you're just playing baseball. We're a bunch of old guys playing a little boy's sport and we were just having fun," said Conaway. "There were blue skies, the day couldn't have been nicer, there was a gentle breeze, weather was in the upper 70s, it couldn't have been more perfect. Then that first gunshot went off and the world got a whole lot different."
Conaway was on first base and thought he had just heard an explosion, he was looking around for dirt or debris in the air bus after the second round went off, it became more clear what was happening.
"People started running towards the dugouts and I see the guy [gunman] behind the third base dugout. People dove into the dugout and got scratched up from doing that," said Conaway. "I ran through the park and got over to where the capitol hill police were and I was trying to help them spot the guy because they could only hear the gunshots because of the clutter of where the actual shooting was coming from."
Gunfire was exchanged, the perp goes down, the field is evacuated and all the injured go to the hospital. St that point there was only one thing on Conaway's mind, his wife.
"I didn't have either my phone or my blackberry, everything was locked up in my car. It was crime scene, I couldn't get my car keys out of the dugout," said Conaway. "My staff finally made contact with her and I called her back a few minutes later and was able to reassure her that I was just fine."
Conaway said he doesn't want to jump to conclusions, but instead wait for investigation to tell us why the shooter did this.
"This should be about the exchange of ideas, it should not be about how mean spirited you can be or how ugly you can be talking to each other," said Conaway. "This is all about what's best for America and why we have differences in opinion."
Congressman Conaway asks us to pray for the injured victims and said their lives will never be the same.
Click here to listen to the entire interview with Congressman Mike Conaway.