LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A man with ties to Michigan is among the five people shot at a congressional baseball practice outside of Washington on Wednesday.
Matt Mika’s family confirmed Wednesday afternoon he was shot multiple times during the practice. He underwent surgery and remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition. His family says he is expected to stay in the hospital for the next several days.
Mika, a former baseball player, was volunteering at the practice to help the congressional team get ready for its upcoming game, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan.
“Baseball is one of his great passions and he has always loved the congressional team,” Mika’s family said in the statement.
Mika’s family said they have arrived in Washington D.C. to be with him.
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, knows Mika and said the shooting should cause politicians to take a close look at the rhetoric and political climate the country is in.
“There’s a lot of responsibility that needs to be taken here and that’s on all sides,” Huizenga said in a phone interview with 24 Hour News 8 from Washington DC. “We have got to lower the temperature of what is being said and being done all around the country.”
Mika is an Oakland County native and current director of government relations at Tyson Foods, according to his relatives. He previously worked as a staff member for U.S. representatives Walberg and Dave Camp, as well as Michigan Rep. David Palsrok
Wednesday afternoon, Walberg released a statement in response to the shooting, which read in part:
“This is deeply personal and Sue and I are praying for Matt as he receives medical attention. We are also praying and wish a speedy recovery for my friend Congressman Steve Scalise, the heroic Capitol Police officers, and everyone affected by this horrible shooting.”
In 2002, Mika worked as a county campaign leader for Dick Posthumus during his run for governor, according to his LinkedIn page.
Mika graduated from Adrian College in 2001. He also attended Western Michigan University for a graduate program, according to his LinkedIn page.
The full statement Mika’s family released on Wednesday:
“First and foremost, thanks to all who have expressed concern about Matt’s condition. We continue to be in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack.
“Matt suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He recently came out of surgery but remains in the ICU in critical condition and we expect him to stay there for at least several days. Our family is now here with him and we continue to ask for privacy and understanding while we focus on Matt and his recovery.
“Many have asked about Matt and what we can share about him. While the attack today was a terrible surprise, Matt’s presence on the ball field, helping longtime colleagues and friends was not. He is a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”
**Correction: We incorrectly reported that Mika ran as the Republican candidate for Michigan’s 101st House District in 2002. He was the fundraising chair for the campaign. We apologize for the error.**