Shooting victim from Mich. now in serious condition

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — The Oakland County native shot multiple times by a rifle-wielding gunman Wednesday during practice for a congressional baseball game has been upgraded to serious condition, the hospital where he is being treated said Thursday.

Lobbyist Matt Mika, 38, suffered massive trauma after being shot in the chest and arm, and was in the intensive care unit at George Washington University Hospital.

Mika “has been alert, conscious and is communicating through notes,” his family said in a statement earlier Thursday. He cannot receive visitors or accept gifts at the ICU, they said.

“We truly appreciate the outpouring of support, love and prayers. Our family continues to be in shock, and we ask for privacy while we focus on Matt and his care,” the family said.

“We are grateful for the care he has received, from the first responders in the field to the world-class care here at the hospital. We understand he is lucky to be alive, and we owe it to these amazing individuals and Matt’s fighting spirit and grit. Additionally, we want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to stop the shooter before he could hurt even more people.”

Mika, who graduated from Southfield-Lathrup High School and Adrian College, is director of government relations in the Washington office of Tyson Foods, where he has worked for six years, according to the company.

Michigan GOP Reps. Mike Bishop of Rochester, Jack Bergman of Watersmeet and John Moolenaar of Midland also were at Wednesday’s practice and were uninjured.

Mika previously worked on Capitol Hill for former U.S. Rep. Dave Camp of Midland and U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton.

Mika was typically one of the first ones to arrive for the 6:15 a.m. baseball practices in Alexandria, Virginia, Moolenaar said.

Mika wasn’t scheduled to play in Thursday’s game but was helping to coach the players with batting practice when the shooting began shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The shooter took aim from a fence near the third-base dugout and was shooting toward the infield, said Moolenaar, who ran to seek shelter — first behind a vehicle and then inside a neighboring apartment.

“I look forward to visiting Matt. He’s been through a number of surgeries,” Moolenaar told reporters on a call Thursday.

“I defer to the medical professionals to talk about his progress, but I’m very encouraged from where he started when we saw him laying there being treated for very serious gun shots to the chest. ... We continue to pray for successful recovery.”

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