U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Others Shot at Congressional Baseball Practice in Virginia
BREAKING: “The gunman wanted to kill as many Republicans as possible.”
A gunman opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia early Wednesday, injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, and several congressional staff members. U.S. Capitol Police returned fire and took the gunman down, killing him, reports Fox News.
Congressman Mo Brooks was on the scene as well and assisted the injured Scalise, knotting a tourniquet to stop the Louisiana rep’s bleeding.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were immediately notified, according to a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
More from Fox News:
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News he left just before the shooting. As he walked to his car, a man asked DeSantis if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. About three minutes the shooting began, DeSantis said.
The shooting began at 7:15 a.m. and lasted about 10 minutes, sources told Fox News.
“Behind third base, I see a rifle…I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream,” [Mo] Brooks told CNN.
Aside from Scalise, DeSantis and Brooks, Reps. Brad Wenstrup and Chuck Fleischmann, and Sens. Rand Paul and Jeff Flake were among the 15-25 people at Simpson Field for practice.
Congressman Brooks reported the gunman hid behind one of the dugouts at the field and several reports indicate as many as 60 shots were fired. CNN reports Brooks indicated the shooter was a white male.
The shooter was later identified as James T. Hodgkinson, age 66, of Belleville, Illinois. President Donald Trump announced in remarks about the attack that Hodgkinson died from wounds he received in the gun battle.
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) June 14, 2017
North Carolina Republican congressman Mark Walker told NBC that it appeared as though Hodgkinson “was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”
The shooter’s Facebook page revealed an obsessive hatred of President Trump, writing that the Chief Executive was a “traitor” and calling for his destruction. In other posts Hodgkinson expressed—often in oddly-formatted sentences with the first letter of each word capitalized—support for far left candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.
Reactions and reports swiftly dominated Twitter.
— CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims injured by the senseless shooting in Alexandria today.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 14, 2017
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017
Horrified by shooting in Alexandria. My thoughts are with @SteveScalise, my colleagues, staff members, and police who were attacked this AM.
— U.S. Senator Al Franken (@SenFranken) June 14, 2017
— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 14, 2017
Our thoughts & prayers are with all those affected by the tragic shooting in Alexandria, VA.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 14, 2017
Speaking to the media, Alexandria police chief Michael Brown said his department was “collaborating” with several other law enforcement agencies and confirmed that “five people were transported” from the scene. He also said the incident was stable and there was no further threat.
Both Democrat and Republican congress members were assembled at or near the park to practice for the traditional Congressional Baseball Game, which is scheduled for June 15th and has been an annual event since 1909.
This is the first time in six years a member of Congress has been shot. Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded by a psychotic gunman in Tucson in January, 2011.
Rep. Scalise and two Capitol Hill Police struck as they took the gunman down were said to be stable and will survive.
This is a developing story and may be updated as further information becomes available.