Congressional aide from Houston wounded in Alexandria shooting

A young Congressional aide from Houston was among the wounded in a shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria Williams early Wednesday.

HOUSTON -- A young Congressional aide from Houston was among the wounded in a shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria Williams early Wednesday. 

Zack Barth, 24, told his mom and sister back in Houston that he was in center field when the gunman suddenly opened fire. 

"He heard one gunshot, then he heard someone yell,'Run!,'" said Ellen Barth, Zack's sister.  

After the gunman shot Zack in the calf, he said he looked up and the suspect was still pointing a gun at him. 

"And at that point, he ran to the dugout," Ellen said. 

Tim called his family to let them know he was OK. 

"My brother and my dad are extremely close, so whenever my brother said, 'Dad, I really want you here,' my dad booked a ticket at that moment," Ellen said. 

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By the time Tim Barth arrived, Zack had been treated at the hospital and released. 

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In a message to KHOU 11 News, Barth's father said, "Zack is going to be fine. Thank goodness."

Tim Barth also posted a brief statement on Facebook: "We really appreciate your prayers and support for Zack and for us. We are blessed to be a part of a wonderful community both in Houston and D.C. Thank goodness for the Police who were at the scene. It could have been so much worse."

Ellen Barth said getting the phone call this morning was tough, but her mom is holding up well. 

“She’s a stronghold in our family. She obviously was scared at first but I think having our friends and family around has helped her," she said. "And especially being able to talk to Zack and hear his voice and he sounds great and he cares so much about us too so it’s been great to hear from him constantly and have that communication.”

WATCH: Raw interview with Ellen Barth

Ellen said the outpouring of support has meant the world to the family. 

"We just kind of clung to each other and clung to our friends and family. They've been a wonderful support system," she said. "We're just incredibly grateful to live in a place where we feel so supported and for Zack to be so well supported by the people that he's around in D.C." 

Zack is an aide for U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas. Williams was already in the dugout when he saw Zack running.

"Zack came running in from the outfield and he literally, we landed in each others arms," Williams said. "He held me, I held him."
 

 
Williams said Sen. Jeff Flake used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding in Zack's leg. 
 
"All the time he was bleeding and we were under fire, he was texting," Williams said. "He was texting, letting people know we were under fire and that we needed help."
 
Williams said Zack got a call from Vice President Pence after the shooting. 
 
Zack graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in government. He is a graduate of Stratford High School in Houston.
 
Sean Theriault aspoke highly of Barth. He was one of his professor's from UT-Austin, who still keeps in touch with him.

"I certainly hope we don't get used to incidents like this I hope that they are always the tragedy they are like when we learned about this one this morning but unfortunately these types of events are occurring too frequently," Theriault said.

Before going to work for Rep. Williams, Zack interned for the Jeb Bush presidential campaign. 

"Zack Barth was one of our best Jeb interns on the campaign. He would stay and work until 8, 9, 10 pm because he loved the work and the Gov," tweeted communication specialist Leslie Hagar Small.


 

Zack also interned for Rep. John Culberson, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller and then Houston Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzales, now the Harris County Sheriff. 

"I could tell back then he was just a very bright young man and I'm very happy he's moved on to bigger and better things," Gonzales said.

He was shot along with Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a Capitol police officer and a lobbyist. Scalise and the lobbyist were in critical condition at last check. 

The suspect was shot by one of the wounded Capitol police officers. He later died at the hospital. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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