Congress members from both sides have called for the baseball game to go on today.
The shootings early Wednesday morning on a serene baseball field in suburban Washington, D.C, once again has enveloped this nation in shock and disbelief.
Democrats won in an 11-2 blowout.
"And as I was getting into the auto with one of my colleagues ... there was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether there was Republicans or Democrats out there", he said during the interview. After accepting it graciously, Barton cracked, "Next year we won't be so nice".
Capitol police could be seen going in and out of the ballpark throughout Thursday morning. Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, was among them. But a congressional aide-turned-lobbyist, Matt Mika, was shot multiple times and critically injured, and he remained hospitalized.
He was hit in the left hip, suffering injuries to internal organs, broken bones and severe bleeding. Investigators are still studying James T. Hodgkinson's social media profile and activities leading up to the attack.
Both sides depicted the event as a unifying experience.
"For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family", Ryan told the House on Thursday.
He confessed later that "the fear factor was horrific".
"And so I'm excited that we chose to do that", Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who sustained what he described as "an ankle/leg injury" while diving for cover during the shooting, told reporters Wednesday afternoon. In previous years, the game has raised more than $600,000.
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Calling himself a democratic socialist on his Facebook page, Hodgkinson had bashed Republicans for their health care and pro-rich policies.
Baseball cards handed out as fans entered the park identified the players' partisan voting percentages.
Scalise is well known for his love of the game.
Still, the divide was good-natured for once.
Lucee Laursen of La Crosse, Wisconsin, an intern in the capital, said: "It's showing that we might have differences in political spheres but we come together for a good cause".
Capitol Police officer David Bailey, who chased down the gunman despite being wounded himself, hobbled out to the pitcher's mound on crutches to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.
The 2017 Congressional Baseball Game will be played Thursday evening.
The charities are the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, Washington Literacy Centre, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and, after Wednesday's shooting, the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
It also said that the Nationals, the major league team that plays at the park, has released additional seating for Thursday night's game. "America doesn't give out, America doesn't give in... if we don't play this baseball game and we go home, then they win", Williams said.
The crowd was a mix of Democrats and Republicans.