Congressman Steve Scalise Among Those Shot At Alexandria, Va. Baseball Field
Just after 7:00 a.m. this morning, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among five people shot during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
Scalise was shot in the hip and is currently in stable condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., where he underwent surgery.
The gunman, who was taken into custody after engaging in a gun battle with police and died at the hospital, has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill. Witnesses believe Republicans were Hodgkinson’s target because he asked people at the baseball field, “Are these Republicans or Democrats?”
Scalise, 51, is a Republican who represents Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District. He and other GOP members were at the baseball field practicing for the annual bipartisan congressional game, which has been a tradition since 1909 and raises money for charity, scheduled to take place at Nationals Park on Thursday night.
Capitol Hill and Alexandria police officers are being hailed as heroes who rushed to the scene within minutes and took down the gunman.
During President Trump’s statement on the incident, he said, “Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.”
The president went on to say, “He will recover from this assault, and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly, the entire world.”
Scalise is the third-most powerful member of the House and always travels with Capitol Police as his security detail.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was at the batting cages during the shooting and told MSNBC, “There was a rapid succession of shots, you know five or 10 shots. In the field, I see Rep. Scalise is shot but moving, and he’s trying to drag himself through the dirt and out into the outfield. I probably heard 50 to 60 shots. Then finally we heard the response from the Capitol Hill police.”
Law enforcement officials told NBC News there was no immediate indication the gunman had ties to international terrorism.
A rifle and a handgun recovered from the scene and are being traced.
It seems that every couple of months there’s an event in this country that makes gun control another hot topic. Will this shooting move the needle on legislation?