A lesbian cop has been hailed as a hero, after saving the lives of Republican lawmakers who fought to deny her the right to marry.
Six people were wounded on Wednesday in Virginia, when 66-year-old James T Hodgkinson opened fire on several Republican members of Congress practising for a charity baseball game.
Hodgkinson was shot dead after security agents and police officers returned fire, preventing further injuries.
Poignantly, the officer who helped take down the shooter is openly gay – but still leapt into action to protect the conservative lawmakers.
Crystal Griner, one of the Capitol Police officers assigned to protect Scalise, reportedly rushed onto the field alongside her colleagues to protect the politicians.
Crystal Griner playing basketball in college
Even though she was shot in the ankle, Ms Griner kept pursuing the shooter.
The officer, who was hospitalised with her injury, has been hailed as a “hero” after reports that it was her who managed to shoot Hodgkinson
President Donald Trump visited Ms Griner in hospital on Thursday, meeting her alongside her wife Tiffany Dyar.
The pair married in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015.
Ms Griner’s poignant actions saved some of the very lawmakers who have fought to deny her right to marry.
Among those present at the practice were Rand Paul, who has claimed he personally finds it “offensive” to refer to same-sex marriage as marriage, and Roger Williams, who claims same-sex marriages are “fraudulent” and a “federal intrusion on the states’ constitutional right to self-governance”.
Steve Scalise, the Republican lawmaker who was injured in the shooting, even previously co-sponsored a failed Constitutional Amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage in the United States.
The amendment supported by Scalise says: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
Ms Griner’s selfless heroism has won her praise, even from strong opponents of LGBT rights.
Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged: “The courageous actions of Officer Crystal Griner, and that of Officer David Bailey, saved lives and prevented an even greater tragedy.”