Residents were focused on morning workouts and getting coffee; a congressional contingent had driven over for an early baseball practice. Then there was more shooting.
Here's how witnesses - from members of Congress to a passerby - describe the attack, in conversations with Morning Edition and with NPR's Jessica Taylor, who spent the day reporting from the scene of the attack.
Congress isn't exactly popular or highly productive these days, but as bullets rained down on the normally placid legislators practicing baseball on Wednesday, a few Republicans found their inner badass.
The 911 call went out at 7:09 a.m. When the gunman opened fire, resident Katie Filous was walking her dogs on the sidewalk next to the baseball field and a YMCA. So I started crying and laid flat on the ground with my dogs.
Congressman Joe Barton of Texas and Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee walked down the road near a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, in stunned silence. The other shooting victims were taken to the hospital, too.
One member of Scalise's security detail was shot in the leg, but assisted in treating his boss.
Network newscasts hastily made plans to originate from Washington, D.C. on Wednesday in response to the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
As his colleagues ran for cover, Scalise, who had been standing at second base, crawled off the softball field, leaving a trail of blood in his wake. "And an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us". And it was clear that there was a gunman.
Wenstrup, who is an Iraq war veteran and medic, jumped into the dugout when he heard Rep. Trent Kelly, of MS, another veteran, yell "shooter" Wednesday morning. And Steve Scalise went down - and dragged himself off of the infield into the outfield, about 10 or 15 yards, and was laying motionless out there. This has got to be the message of Republicans like me and Democrats alike.
"I got a look at the gunman behind the backstop, and he had a line of sight into our dugout".
The gunman was believed to have been in the Alexandria area since March, Slater said. And sometime after that, the assault on the congressional team ended. "We've got Capitol police coming out of every office in the Capitol complex", Duncan said. He added that Scalise was bleeding "quite a bit". Rand Paul, who was also present, extolled the bravery of those same Capitol Police officers who ended up in a firefight with Hodgkinson. No other deaths have been reported from the shooting.
Scalise underwent surgery for a wound to the hip, and was in critical condition.
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Fields, who has been mostly fantastic in relief for the Dodgers this season, has been bitten by the long ball bug of late. The next pitch almost gave the Indians a lead, but Lonnie Chisenhall's deep drive curved foul at the last moment.
So it hardly seemed unusual when a man approached Rep. Jeff Duncan of SC in the baseball field parking lot.
Marty LaVor, a retired Capitol Hill worker, was taking pictures by first base when he saw a man holding a rifle behind a chain-link fence by third base.
"And then, of course, it started".
"I was on my front porch, and that is when I heard the first round of shots". There was a clip with at least eight shots.
"I think we will make some proposals and changes", the Kentucky Republican told reporters.
Chaos ensued. Lawmakers dove for cover. Telling the story later, his trousers were still scuffed and muddy and his elbows were scratched and bandaged. "His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations", the hospital statement said.
According to reports, the shooter fired between 50 and 100 rounds using a semi-automatic weapon.
"Our lives were saved by the Capitol Hill police".
Two others are law enforcement officers.
"There's usually a Capitol Police officer in a auto in a parking lot several hundred yards away, but no one on near the field like the Scalise detail was", Matt Dinkel, the spokesman for Democrat coach Rep. Mike Doyle told ABC News.
He said he was about to hit during batting practice when he heard a loud "bang" and saw a person with a rifle. "That's not America. So, it's one of the risks you take on". "It wasn't a fair fight". He is among the five injured, police said. All we would have had would have been baseball bats versus a rifle.
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