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Sen. Rand Paul: 'It would have been a massacre' if armed Capitol Police hadn't been there

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Capitol Police officers are the reason everyone on the field survived Wednesday's shooting attack in Alexandria, Virginia. (Image source: MSNBC Morning Joe screenshot)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) called into MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and told the show hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski what happened during the shooting that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), a congressional aide, and multiple police officers Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

Paul said that he was in the batting cages when he first heard what he thought was a singular shotgun blast that was soon followed by "five or 10" rapid gunshots. Paul said he looked onto the field from the batting cages and noticed Scalise was "shot but moving" and was "trying to drag himself through the dirt out into the outfield."  Paul said he also noticed two staffers laying down on the field with bullets hitting the dirt around them.

The senator told the hosts that the shooter was able to reload and fire off 50 to 60 shots before the two Capitol Police officers who were present located the shooter and responded.

"Finally, we heard a response from Capitol Hill Police," Paul said, "and we're actually very lucky they were there. They do a great job. These are brave men and women, and we were really lucky they were there.

"Everybody probably would have died except for the fact that Capitol Hill Police were there," Paul said. "The only reason they were there was because we had a member of leadership on our team. If Scalise hadn't been on the team — unfortunately he was hit, and I hope he does well — but also by him being there, he probably saved everybody else's life.

"The Capitol Hill Police, like I said, incredibly brave, and probably saved the lives of everybody there," Paul said. "Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre."

Paul said that both officers were wounded during the firefight and that one of the officers continued to defend the congressmen and their staff after he was wounded.

"From what I understand, they both were shot," Paul said. "I hope they're both OK, but from what I understand, one was still protecting the scene after being shot."

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