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For Washington, A Day Of Baseball, Blood And Brotherhood

By in Huffington Post on June 14, 2017

By Jennifer Bendery

ALEXANDRIA, Va. ― Each morning, Noah Nathan walks Jazz and Cocoa, his two labradoodles, from his apartment complex to the dog run next to Simpson Park, a sports complex in this leafy Northern Virginia suburb.

When Nathan got to the field on Wednesday, a couple dozen Republican lawmakers were there, practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, a century-old Washington tradition in which Democratic and Republican members of Congress compete and raise money for charity.

Nathan led his dogs around the trails as Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) fielded ground balls at third base. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was playing shortstop. It was barely 7 a.m., but it was starting to get hot, and both lawmakers had already finished their turns at bat. DeSantis suggested to Duncan that they cut out of practice early to beat the traffic into Washington. The two men and a few staffers piled into the Chevy Suburban they’d arrived in, and were about to pull off when a man approached the car. DeSantis rolled down his window.

“Are those Republicans or Democrats?” the man asked, pointing toward the field where other lawmakers continued practicing. DeSantis thought little of the encounter as they left.

Moments later, a man rounded the third-base dugout, walked onto the field and opened fire.

“We weren’t exactly sure what it was,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). He saw a swirl of dust, and realized the man “was firing indiscriminately.”

Over at the dog park, Nathan heard bullets ring off a chain-link fence and bounce in the dirt. He dove to the ground. Lying there in the gravel, he pulled out his phone, pointed it in the direction of […]    

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