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Arizona sheriffs honor Flake for baseball shooting response

Posted at 4:18 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 22:11:09-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona Senator Jeff Flake will not be sharing the stage with the President Tuesday night. President Trump and Senator Flake have been criticizing each other on immigration, foreign trade and a range of other issues.

Senator Flake was in Tucson Tuesday for a heroism award from an incident that shows how angry politics has become.

In June, a man opened fire on Republican members of Congress practicing for a charity baseball game. Before the shooting he asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats.

Congressman Steve Scalise was badly wounded along with a congressional aide, a lobbyist and two Capitol Police officers who fatally wounded the gunman even though they were both hurt.

Before the gunman was stopped, Senator Jeff Flake ran on the field to give first aid.

Now the Pima County Sheriff's Department and the Arizona Sheriff's Association are honoring his heroism.

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier read from the award citation: “Without regard for his safety, Senator Flake went to the assistance of wounded colleagues, potentially exposing himself to further danger during a dynamic and still unfolding situation."        

Now the violence and death in Charlottesville is a fresh case of disagreement devolving to violence.

Senator Flake says, “We've got to come together.  We can't ascribe the worst motives to our political opponents. We've got to find a way to get along.”  

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “What's your take on how these things got uncorked in the first place?” 

Sen Flake: It's been a long time in coming.  It's not just the result of the last election.  This has been going for awhile.  It's concerning to me and a lot of people.  Tensions that are there are exacerbated by 24 hour news cycles and social media but we've got to do better as elected officials we've got to model better behavior."

Senator Flake has outraged President Trump by opposing him on immigration, trade and other issues.  The Senator says talk of a feud is overblown and he will support or oppose any President on an issue by issue basis.