MICHIGAN — A former Western Michigan University student and former legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg is among several people who were shot during a congressional baseball practice session outside of Washington early Wednesday morning.
Matt Mika, who attended Western Michigan between 2003-04 after graduating from Adrian College in 2001, was the “most seriously injured,” Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN.
Mika was left in critical condition after being shot multiple times during the practice, according to his family, who issued a statement Wednesday afternoon as he was being taken in for surgery.
His family released an updated statement later Wednesday saying Mika remained in the ICU in critical condition following that surgery and they expected him to remain there for “at least several days.”
“First and foremost, thanks to all who have expressed concern about Matt’s condition,” the statement read. “We continue to be in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack.”
The updated statement went on to say:
“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.”
Mika, who is currently a lobbyist with Tyson Foods, previously worked for several Michigan lawmakers, including Republican U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg and Dave Camp, his family said.
Walberg issued the following statement regarding Mika:
“Matt Mika was a former staff member during my first term in Congress and has remained a close friend ever since. Matt is a graduate of Adrian College, and as a former baseball player, he was volunteering at this morning’s practice to help the congressional team get ready for the game. 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.”
Mika’s family issued the following statement earlier on Wednesday:
“Matt Mika, Oakland county native and current director of government relations at Tyson Foods, was among those shot at the Congressional baseball practice this morning in Alexandria, VA. Matt previously served on Congressional staff for Representatives Walberg and Camp, as well as serving on the staff of State Representative David Palsrok. Baseball is one of his great passions and he has always loved the Congressional team.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show that Matt Mika attended WMU for a year pursuing a master’s in public administration and public policy program but did not graduate, according to university spokeswoman Cheryl Roland.