Alexandria, VA - Three Alexandria police officers responded to assist Capitol police officers last Wednesday, during the mass shooting at the Republican Congressional baseball practice, and courageously joined the fight to take the shooter down.
In a press conference, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown talked about the role that Alexandria police officers had played in the incident. He said that Officer Kevin Jobe, Officer Nicole Battaglia, and Officer Alexander Jensen had arrived at Eugene Simpson field within two minutes after the emergency call was dispatched.
Two Capitol Police Officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who were in plain clothes, immediately engaged the shooter James Hodgkinson, after the shooting began about 7 AM. Their engagement of Hodgkinson got him to move down the third base line toward home plate, according to Alexandria Times.
Chief Brown said "I cannot emphasize the courage that it must have taken for those two officers [Griner and Bailey] to stop that initial engagement with that shooter".
Hodgkinson and officers retreated to cover at that time, and exchanged shots. Officer Jobe was the first Alexandria police officer to arrive, and he went toward the gunfight from Monroe Street without cover.
Officer Battaglia arrived, and immediately came under fire while still inside her patrol car. She 'jumped out' of her cruiser, and she, too, moved toward the sound of gunfire, while still under fire. She then became pinned down by the shooter behind a vehicle, and couldn't shoot at Hodgkinson, but this 'ultimately' drew his attention away from the baseball field.
Other officers were then able to get into place to put Hodgkinson down.
Officer Jensen arrived on scene, got out and used his vehicle for protection while he got his rifle, while engaging the shooter at the same time. Hodgkinson moved behind home plate, and it was there that he was permanently neutralized by officers.
Chief Brown said that within f4 minutes and 38 seconds of the first emergency dispatch that "the shooter was stopped." He said:
"I could not be more proud of the officers of the Alexandria police department who showed up that day...One of the things that's real interesting is when an officer shows up it's a point of courage. [They think] 'Do I drive by and assess the scene or do I step in and go into a fight? Maybe a fight that I don't know about'. These officers got that call and they answered that call on the 14th of June."
Officer Jobe is a 16-year-veteran, Officer Battaglia has been with the department for one-and a-half years, and Officer Jensen is a two-year veteran.
Thank you, Officer Jobe, Officer Battaglia, and Officer Jensen. Job well done.