Jeff Duncan

'I heard a very large bang.' And then a race for their lives.

'I heard a very large bang.' And then a race for their lives.

They were taking swings and fielding line drives, Republican lawmakers taking a welcome break from Washington’s political maelstrom Wednesday in an early morning practice on a suburban baseball diamond for a charity game against Democrats.

Just after 7 a.m., they heard a loud pop that didn’t sound quite like the crack of a bat. A few looked at one another, trying to make sense of it.

“I heard a very large bang,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), said later. “Most people didn’t do anything…. About 10 or 15 seconds later there was a barrage of pops and it was very clear there was an active shooter.”

About two dozen members of Congress, staffers, a retired major league...

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