DETROIT (WWJ) – A Michigan native has been identified as one of several people shot and seriously injured when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice involving Republican politicians in Alexandria, Virginia.
The family of Matt Mika, a former Congressional aide, said he was in critical condition undergoing surgery at George Washington University hospital, Wednesday afternoon, after he was shot multiple times.
“Baseball is one of his great passions and he has always loved the Congressional team,” his family said in a statement, as they awaited word of his condition.
In an update later in the day, the family thanked everyone who has expressed their concerns about Mika, adding that they remain “in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack.”
The statement continued:
“Matt suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He recently came out of surgery but remains in the ICU in critical condition and we expect him to stay there for at least several days. Our family is now here with him and we continue to ask for privacy and understanding while we focus on Matt and his recovery.
Many have asked about Matt and what we can share about him. While the attack today was a terrible surprise, Matt’s presence on the ball field, helping longtime colleagues and friends was not. He is a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”
Mika currently works as director of government relations for Tyson Foods. An Oakland County native and graduate of Western Michigan University and Adrian College, he previously worked for U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg and former U.S. Rep. David Camp, both Michigan Republicans.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas said Mika was helping the Republican team prepare for a game against the Democrats, calling him “a great guy.”
“Matt Mika, one of the guys who helps us, is here at the hospital,” Brady told the Post. “He’s been a big part of the team for a number of years and just a great athlete, helps us frankly at second base and at shortstop.”
Five people were shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and two Capitol Hill police officers — one reportedly a female who was airlifted from the scene.
James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill, who was identified by law enforcement as the gunman, was shot by police and later died at the hospital.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.