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‘Our Eagle hero’: NCCU graduate exchanged gunfire, was injured in congressional shooting

Capitol Police Officer and NCCU grad wounded in attack throws out first pitch

Watch David Bailey, one of two Capitol Police officers wounded in the attack that wounded Congressman Steve Scalise throw out the first pitch at the congressional baseball game. Bailey is a graduate of NC Central in Durham, N.C.
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Watch David Bailey, one of two Capitol Police officers wounded in the attack that wounded Congressman Steve Scalise throw out the first pitch at the congressional baseball game. Bailey is a graduate of NC Central in Durham, N.C.

One of the Capitol Police officers injured while trading gunfire Wednesday with a shooting suspect in Alexandria, Va., is a graduate of N.C. Central University.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan named two Capitol Police officers involved in the shooting: David Bailey and Crystal Griner.

Bailey graduated from NCCU in 2007, the school confirmed on Wednesday. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and a member of student government. Bailey’s LinkedIn page says he has been a U.S. Capitol Police officer since 2008.

Bailey was with U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice. Scalise was wounded in the shooting; five people were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference that neither Bailey nor Griner suffered a life-threatening injury, and that Bailey was treated and released.

N.C. Central interim chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye said in a statement Wednesday that the university’s thoughts and prayers were with all of those affected by the attack, but that “we are especially proud of our Eagle hero, NCCU alumnus and U.S. Capitol Police Officer David J. Bailey, who was part of the congressional security detail and bravely put his life on the line to protect and serve the community.”

Bailey’s LinkedIn page says the Capitol Police are “primarily responsible for the protection of life and property. Also preventing, detecting and investigating criminal acts. Enforce traffic regulations throughout a large complex of congressional buildings, parks and through fares. Responsible for the protection of members of Congress, officers of Congress, and their families as expanded by statute to the entire United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia.”

Video: Chairman of the N.C. GOP Robin Hayes says the shooting at the U.S. Congressional baseball game practice earlier in the day indicates a "sad state of affairs." He also called for less divisiveness between political parties that seems so pre

Ryan and President Donald Trump praised the efforts of the Capitol Police, including Griner and Bailey.

“This example of ‘Truth and Service’ comes as no surprise to his professors who knew him to be an engaged and empathetic student who was committed to excellence,” Akinleye said in the release. “We wish a speedy recovery to Officer Bailey, Congressman Steve Scalise, Officer Crystal Griner and all others who were touched by this tragic incident.”

The suspected shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. Hodgkinson was injured and later died at a hospital, according to multiple national reports.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was playing at the congressional baseball practice in the Alexandria, Va. park before shots rang out on Wednesday. He described the chaos that ensued and confirmed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot.

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett

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