Capitol Police Officer and NCCU grad wounded in attack throws out first pitch
North Carolina Central University alumnus David Bailey was among the five people shot in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday.
Bailey graduated from NCCU in 2007 after studying physical education. He has served as a federal police officer since 2008.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan named two Capitol Police officers involved in the shooting: Bailey and Crystal Griner.
Both Bailey and Griner “are in good condition and have not suffered any life threatening injuries at this point,” Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Ill., opened fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team at a practice field in Alexandria, a suburb outside Washington. Hodgkinson was injured and later died at a hospital, according to multiple national reports.
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; he and four other people were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Bailey attended NCCU from 2004 to 2007. He majored in physical education with the intentions of becoming a teacher. Virginia Politano, chairperson of the Physical Education and Recreation Department at NCCU, taught Bailey during his time at the university.
“He liked to clown around a lot,” Politano said. “He didn’t do as well as he had the potential to do in some classes.”
She described Bailey as outgoing and personable and said he was involved in community service and university organizations. He was a member of NCCU’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Student Government Association.
Bailey worked as an intern for Gary Brown, interim vice chancellor of student affairs at NCCU, about 10 years ago. Brown said Bailey was a responsible young man.
“It was a good experience for myself (to have him as an intern),” Brown said. “It was my first year at the institution, and I think it was a good experience for him too.”
Johnson Akinleye, NCCU’s interim chancellor, made a statement wishing a quick recovery to all involved in the shooting.
“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,” Akinleye said. “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.”
Ryan and President Donald Trump praised the efforts of the Capitol Police, including Griner and Bailey.
The Capitol Police Board also put out a statement commending Bailey, Griner and first responders on the scene for their decisive actions and protection.
“Their response quickly contained what could have become a deadly situation and saved many lives today.”
Ana Irizarry: 317-213-3553
News & Observer staff writer Abbie Bennett contributed to this report.