Ron Desantis Recalls Encounter With Shooter: 'You're Going to See a Lot of Resolve Come out of This'

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was among those practicing at a GOP baseball game this morning where a shooting took place that injured five people. DeSantis, who is former military, had left practice with a colleague when they encountered a man in the parking lot inquiring about whether Democrats or Republicans were on the field. Moments later, the shooting took place. It has now been confirmed that the man who approached DeSantis was, in fact, the gunman.

DeSantis joined The Glenn Beck Program Wednesday to talk about what happened and address the need for enhanced security.

"The Capitol Police here have been on us about security in terms of when we go back to the districts, much more so than even in the past -- your district offices, your town halls, all these things. Here in Washington, everything is secure, the office buildings, the Capitol Building, everything," DeSantis said.

However, the peculiar circumstances of today's shooting and the general mood in Washington may change things.

"I don't know whether this was politically motivated, but we have received much more threatening communications since President Trump took office. And that's just something that I think we've taken seriously, but now . . . if it does have a political connection, man, I've got to start taking more of this stuff even more serious," DiSantis said.

When asked by Glenn if this incident would make it more difficult for people to stand in Washington, DiSantis responded in true American fashion.

"I think that the reaction for me has got to be, you know, it just means you got to stand stronger. You can't let people like this grind you down. We would not have a country if we allowed that to happen. So I think you're going to see a lot of resolve come out of this," he said.

Enjoy the complimentary clip, listen to the full segment or read the transcript for details.

GLENN: Congressman Ron DeSantis. He's from the 65th District in Florida. He is the guy who was out at the baseball game, left a few minutes early. And then went out in the parking lot and supposedly talked to a strange man who asked, "Are these Republicans or Democrats?" And shortly after the shooting fired -- or, the shooting started -- we don't know if it was the same man that was the shooter, but Ron is with us now. Congressman, our thoughts and prayers are with you and everybody else that is involved in this in any way, shape, our form across the country.

RON: Well, thank you. Yeah, look, we've been doing this for years. And it's just kind of a municipality facility about 10 miles outside the capitol. The fact that Steve Scalise, the majority whip was there, meant that he comes with his security detail because the leadership gets Capitol Police security detail. Had Steve not been there, there would have been zero security. And I think this guy would have mowed down a lot of people. And so the Capitol Police were the difference maker.

GLENN: Rand Paul said he thought that you all might be dead if it wasn't for that security detail.

RON: Well, I think that's right -- and here's the thing, Glenn. I mean, for me, I'm just coming to terms with it. Like, Steve is playing shortstop. We're basically -- the guys are hitting BP. I had already hit. Scalise had already hit. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina, is playing short. And we're just kind of taking the ground balls as they're hit to us. Doing whatever. You know, turning two. Do the whole thing.

And then after about ten minutes of that, Jeff and I kind of look at each other and say, "Hey, you know, we've had a good workout. Let's beat the traffic. Let's get out of here." And so we're like, all right. So we basically just jogged away. And had we not left early, I mean, we would have been in that same line of fire and even closer to the shooter. So it's just, some of these things you don't know why they happen. And I don't know if that's the same guy that confronted us in the parking lot, that was the actual shooter. But given the police -- my description, Jeff has done the same thing. And I think we'll figure out very soon. I would recognize him if I saw a picture of him.

GLENN: What was the description you gave?

RON: He was kind of a non-descript -- I mean, he was a middle-aged Caucasian male. You know, his hair was on the dark side. But not the type of guy if you were just walking down the street and you saw 30 people walking on the other side, that you would like notice him. I mean, he wasn't somebody that was terribly noticeable.

PAT: And what exactly did he ask you?

RON: He asked Jeff -- so I was in the backseat. And he asked Jeff -- he's like -- he's like, "Hey, are those Republicans or Democrats out there?" And Jeff's like, "Republicans." And then he just turned and walked toward the field.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: Was he chubby? Because he -- the shooter is described as chubby.

RON: I mean, he wasn't thin. I don't know that it struck me as necessarily being chubby. But I kind of -- because I was in the backseat. So the way he came up -- I kind of basically saw from like his chest up, is all I was able to see. So I don't know if he was carrying anything. I definitely didn't see his physique beneath that. So it's hard for me to say.

GLENN: What should we take from all of this, Ron? You know the discussions that are coming.

RON: Well, I think -- but I think -- I think we'll be able to figure out in short order this -- this individual's motivation. He's in custody. These guys have digital trails. Social media trails. And we'll be able to see that. You know, both sides -- it could just be a random thing that happened. Obviously, that's problematic in some ways. And it could have been motivated by political -- for political reasons. And that obviously opens up a whole new can of worms. So I think we'll just to have wait and see what we know about this individual, and then go from there.

But I will tell you, Glenn, we -- the Capitol Police here have been on us about security in terms of when we go back to the districts. Much more so than even in the past. Your district offices, your town halls, all these things.

Here in Washington, everything is secure. The office buildings, the Capitol Building, everything. This is kind of an odd thing. We're not in the district, but we're definitely off campus, being at a place like Alexandria. So I think that's how -- how we approach that may have to change, if in fact this was motivated politically. But I can tell you, I don't know whether this was politically motivated, but we have received much more threatening communications since President Trump took office. And that's just something that I think we've taken seriously. But now just looking at this, if it does have a political connection, man, I got to start taking more of this stuff even more serious.

GLENN: It was reported that it has been confirmed that it was an M4. You're a former service guy. You know what an M4 is. And you can't buy -- well, you're not supposed to be able to buy an M4. I guess you can buy them. But it's really more of a military designation. It's an AR-15.

RON: Well, but, Glenn, I would bet it's kind of the civilian version, where you do not have select fire. In other words, with the M4 I got issued, you have -- it's on safe. You click one. One shot for every trigger pull. You can do three-shot bursts. Three shots for every trigger pull. Then you could do full auto. Pull the trigger. Continuous fire.

My sense would be -- it would be a rifle that probably looked like that, but probably didn't have the continuous fire. Was probably just a standard semiautomatic weapon.

GLENN: Because he was not firing in bursts.

RON: Right. And so it seems like -- I think like -- when news reports come out, very few journalists know anything about firearms. But I think a lot of this could be misreported. My sense is it probably would have been a semiautomatic rifle. And then I do believe he also had a pistol as well.

STU: What's it like talking to your family and describing to them that just because you left baseball practice a few minutes early, you avoided potential death?

RON: Well, I'll tell you, my wife is very, very concerned and shaken. We have a six-and-a-half-month-old daughter. And it's just the type of thing where, you know, when we first got into politics -- I mean, my wife was with me every step of the way. You know, 2012, we're knocking on doors. We got into it, because we wanted to make a difference. We wanted to change the country. And then I think her perspective is, I don't want you in that type of situation at all. And so I think -- I think it's been really, really tough on her. And obviously, I was a guy -- you know, I was able to -- I left before it even happened. Even though, you know, I was obviously in proximity, had I stayed. You know, so imagine what, like, Steve Scalise's wife is thinking right now. So I think it's really, really tough on the family members because they just don't know what's going to happen to somebody that they love. And I think we have an environment now where there's just a lot of -- a lot of currents going on, and if one individual acts, you know, that could really upend somebody's whole family life.

GLENN: Does this make this more difficult for people to stand in Washington?

RON: You know, Glenn, I think that at the end of the day, you know, we'll see what this guy's motivation was. But, you know, if he was targeting congressmen specifically, or even Republicans specifically, I think that we'll all be taken aback by that. But I think that the reaction for me has got to be -- you know, it just means you got to stand stronger. You can't let people like this grind you down. We would not have a country if we allowed that to happen. So I think you're going to see a lot of resolve come out of this.

STU: Do you want this game to happen tomorrow night?

RON: I'll play if it's there. If it's not, I understand. I mean, there's a lot that goes on with it. I know that they've cancelled the votes here today. We have a couple hearings that are still going on. But I think that the leadership is going to have figure out how they want to handle this situation, going forward. But if the game is on, I'll be there.

GLENN: Do you -- you're for any stricter regulation on guns?

RON: No. I mean, I'm a Second Amendment guy. I want people to be able to -- and here's the thing: Those Capitol Police guys were the saviors. You look back at other incidents that were happening -- I'm not saying that this is terrorism. But if you look at some of the terrorist attacks, the St. Cloud, Minnesota, last September, where the guy is stabbing people in a shopping mall, there was an individual with a concealed carry permit who shot the terrorist. He probably saved, you know, ten people's lives by doing that. So I think responsible use of firearms can help save lives.

PAT: Congressman, did I hear right that the Democrats have a winning streak going in this baseball game?

RON: Actually, no. They lost last year. They had a pretty good run for a time. So republicans are 1-0 over the last year.

GLENN: So you're denying that this is a false flag just to get out of the game tomorrow?

RON: Exactly, yeah.

GLENN: Congressman, thank you so much. And, again, our prayers are with you and the families and everybody who is involved any way they are. Thank you so much.

PAT: Yeah.

RON: Well, thank you. Appreciate it.


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