Crystal Griner

Hood College’s Crystal Griner, right, in 2003.

A Hood College graduate is among the police officers being hailed as heroes for their role in protecting lawmakers who were attacked by a gunman Wednesday morning.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner was wounded as she and other officers engaged with James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Griner, 32, who graduated from Hood College in 2006, was injured along with fellow officer David Bailey, Rep. Steve Scalise, congressional aide Zachary Barth and lobbyist Matt Mika. She was shot in the ankle but is in good condition, according to a Capitol Police statement.

Hood College confirmed in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon that Griner had attended the college in Frederick. Griner graduated from Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City and was a National Honor Society member. At Hood, she played guard on the basketball team and was Rookie of the Year as a freshman, according to her player profile provided by Hood. She majored in biology, according to the profile.

"Our thoughts are with all those injured and especially Crystal and her family," representatives of Hood College wrote in the Facebook post.

Retired U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, who led the Frederick Police Department until 2012, told The Frederick News-Post that he remembered Griner as an outstanding officer and applauded the heroism she and Bailey displayed Wednesday.

"The Capitol Police is in many ways America’s police department," Dine said. "They protect the people, places and processes that makes us the United States of America. It's cliché to say, but police go toward danger to save people. Today, that is exactly what these officers did. These were heroic actions, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families."

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan lauded Griner and her colleagues for their service in a Wednesday afternoon address.

“I know this House wants to state unequivocally that we are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police,” Ryan said. “I spoke with Special Agent Bailey and Special Agent Griner this morning. I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on eyewitness accounts, that without these heroes, Agents Bailey and Griner, many lives would have been lost.”

U.S. Reps. John Delaney, D-6th, and Jamie Raskin, D-8th, posted messages of gratitude to the officers on social media.

“So grateful for our brave and dedicated [Capitol Police],” Raskin posted on Twitter. “We thank them for their continuing devotion and commitment.”

"Praying for Majority Whip Scalise and the others who were shot in this horrific shooting," Delaney posted to his Facebook page. "Thank you to the Capitol Police and all first responders at the scene. "

Staff writer Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report.

Follow Cameron Dodd on Twitter: @CameronFNP.

(13) comments


As tragic as this was maybe there is some good that can come from this event maybe the GOP base will start to appreciate blacks as contributing to America's greatness instead of adversaries.


And to think, Scalise called himself "David Duke without the baggage". The irony is rich here.


The GOP showering this heroic black officer with accolades and then create legislation to suppress her vote, deny her civil rights and deprive her of equal economic opportunities is disingenuous.


Blacks officers have their own police union for a reason.

Joey Pesto

Can you imagine the skill of this young woman and her young male partner have taking down a criminal who has a long range rifle and a huge supply of ammo...and all they had was a pistol? Kudos to them they are amazing hero's and may they have a full recovery so they can get back to doing the job they so much love. Thank you!


In the service they told us "going up against a person with a rifle with only a handgun is a death wish". Grateful for their expertise and diligence. Prayers to them and their families....and all the people they saved.


Hoping for a full and fast recovery. Grateful for her actions to prevent more of a disaster.




On this date Oct 15, 1974 Arva “Marie” Johnson became the first African-American woman to serve on the Capitol Police force. Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on February 3, 1950, Johnson attended public schools in the Tarheel State before moving to Washington, D.C. When the Capitol Police—the congressional law enforcement agency originally founded in 1828—opened its force to women in 1974, Johnson applied and was hired. At the age of 24, she joined three other women officers in the inaugural class. Johnson holds the distinction of being the first black woman on the force, as well as the first woman in uniform—two of the women officers worked a plain-clothes detail. Upon her retirement in January 2007, after a 32-year career as a Capitol Police officer, Johnson reminisced, “If I was young again and could do it, I would come here and work. Yes, it's a good opportunity, and knowing what I know, I would come back.”


The heroic officer put her law enforcement duties first by putting her life on the line for a party that embraces civil rights and voter suppression that's exemplary. This is why blacks are the most patriotic Americans, scorned and marginzed at home they've always answered the call of duty.


Why can't you NOT bring your hate of republicans and always turn something into a color issue. Cant you just commend and praise an individual for risking their life by doing their duty? By executing the oath they took when they joined "to protect and defend". I commend this officer, and yes I see a police officer...not a woman or a person of color...but a intelligent and courageous individual who put their life before any others by helping to put a mad dog down. Gotta play your race card and not just commend an individual. I've known blacks, whites yellows that are just a "patriotic" as others in my 20+ years of military service.


My family is full of black law enforcement and military members how many black law enforcement and black military members are in your alt right family? When you see this black woman you only see an officer? That's the problem when people like you see blacks in unfiorm blacks get a pass but unfortunately black officers can't wear
their uniform 24/7.


Official FBI guidelines acknowledge that white supremacists and right-wing extremists have infiltrated U.S. law enforcement agencies according to a 2015 counterterrorism policy guide.

“Domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,”.

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