Rep. Steve Scalise, others shot at congressional baseball practice

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 15, 2017

Steve Scalise is the third-highest ranked member of the Republican leadership in the House, and has the hard job of trying to keep order in the fractious party ranks and rounding up votes for bills. Two officers were also shot and one suspect in custody, according to initial law enforcement reports.

The suspect has been identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson and was shot and killed due to injuries he sustained in the gunfight. The assailant, prepared with "a lot of ammo", fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, who served as a military surgeon in Iraq, attended to Scalise after the shooter was down, Brooks said on CNN. At least one person hiding there was injured in the leg. Alexandria Police said that victims are being transported to local hospitals. Tim Slater of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a press conference that it's too soon to know if the congressmen were targeted. "I'm grateful to the U.S. Capitol Police officers who displayed true bravery in protecting congressional members and staff and bringing an end to this senseless act of violence". He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving 12 years in the state legislature.

The President has canceled a visit to the Department of Labor later this afternoon to talk about apprenticeships and sign an executive order.

"Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone", stated the office representative.

Brown would not confirm to reporters more than three hours later that the gunman, reported to be wounded by U.S. Capitol Police, was among those five. "We just said a prayer for our colleagues and are holding to leave Dem baseball practice".

According to the AP, the shooting occurred at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where lawmakers and others were gathered for a morning practice.

As the shooting continued, bullets shattered windows at the adjacent YMCA. The (wounded) officer was airlifted out.

Congressman Ron DeSantis, who left just before the shooting, said as he walked to his vehicle, a man asked him if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. The Alabama lawmaker said his colleague left a trail of blood as he crawled away: "We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip".

Two Capitol Police officers showed "incredible bravery", Brooks said, describing how they used their pistols to engage in a gunbattle with a man armed with a rifle, from a distance of 90 to 120 feet. Williams, who has coached the Republican baseball team since 2013, was not shot, despite reports in some media outlets.

House Speaker Paul Ryan's office said Scalise's wounds were not believed to be life-threatening and that a member of the security detail was also shot.

Then many more shots, and Capitol Police returned fire.

Other lawmakers were stunned in the aftermath of the event, which raised questions about the security of members of Congress.

"The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely", said President Donald Trump.

'We are deeply saddened by this tragedy.

Sanders paid tribute to Capitol Police for their response to the shooting, and said his "hopes and prayers" are with House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and others who were wounded.

The members of Congress were preparing for the annual congressional baseball game scheduled for Thursday at Nationals Park, when Republican and Democrat members of the House and Senate play against each other. Pitting members of one party against another, the contest supports charities ranging from the Boys and Girls Clubs to the Washington Literacy Center.

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