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.