Former colleagues and interns react to Congressman Scalise's shooting
BATON ROUGE, La., (WSET) -- Throughout his years in public service, both at the federal and state level, Congressman Steve Scalise has worked with hundreds, if not thousands of people.
ABC 13 spoke to some of the people Scalise has worked with. Many of them say they are still in shock about what happened.
Former intern Sam Ingalls said he heard about the shooting from his mom. He said, "I was devastated. To think that he might have been the target of an attack. And then to realize that, just how senseless the attacker was."
Ingalls remembered one of his favorite memories of the Congressman, saying it actually happened a year before he started his internship, while he was in D.C. representing a non-profit. "I can't communicate enough just how personable he was. You know, I had met with a number of Congressman that day from Louisiana, and our two Senators, and he of everybody that I had met with, gave me the most amount of care," said Ingalls.
That sentiment was echoed by Anthony Gambino who said, "He's a guy who is very open to his staff members and to his constituents. Whenever you go to his office in D.C., if he's there he will stop what he's doing to say hello to constituents and show them around the office, make sure they have some Community Coffee and that they're going ok."
Gambino interned for Scalise in 2011, and credits him for his love of politics. "I learned so much about politics, and the way laws are made, and how committees work, and how decisions are made in Congress. I'm now a lawyer here in town, in Baton Rouge and so it puts everything that I do now into perspective."
Gambino says while Scalise inspired him in a business sense, he was even more inspired by him in a personal sense. ""He is a kind, down to earth person, someone, when you think of the stereotypical person from New Orleans who just wants to stop and say hello and is interested in you and making sure you've eaten something good and you're having fun and enjoying yourself, that's Congressman Scalise."
State Judge Jeff Thompson from Bossier City, Louisiana worked alongside Scalise on different state entities. He says he too is in shock over what has happened. "Congressman Scalise is an outstanding guy. What a great, great husband, father He loves this state and this country. He was always so eager to moving, first Louisiana and now America forward, and we're just all saddened by the fact that his leadership has put him in the cross hairs," Thompson said.
"I'm of course very happy that he's going to survive this. Sadly, he's going to be with injuries that he'll have for the rest of his life of a memory of nothing more than a love of his state and nation that put him in danger. That's what a lot of our soldiers face sadly, but they're out fighting to keep our way of life safe. Steve was trying to do a good thing here on American soil for all of the country," said Thompson.