This is some breaking news this morning and the story is still developing. Some Republican members of Congress had gathered at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, to practice for their annual charity game against their Democratic colleagues. The charity game was scheduled to take place Thursday night at Nationals Park in DC, but the practice was interrupted this morning by gunfire leaving at least one Congressman shot and several aides injured. The details are still coming in.
Here’s the latest from CNN:
Rep. Steve Scalise was shot Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, a House colleague told CNN, in what sources are calling an apparent “deliberate attack.”
The shooting took place at a practice for the GOP congressional baseball team.
Scalise, a member of the House Republican leadership as the majority whip, appeared to have been shot in the hip and it appeared two Capitol Hill police agents were shot, according to Rep. Mo Brooks, who told CNN he was on deck when the shooting occurred.
According to both congressional and law enforcement sources, the shooting appears to be a “deliberate attack.”
Two law enforcement sources told CNN the shooter, who is in police custody, has been taken to a hospital.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who was at the practice, told CNN “it would have been a massacre” had Capitol Police not been present.
“Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police,” Paul said on CNN. “It would have been a massacre without them.”
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake added that he saw a member of Scalise’s security detail return fire on the gunman for what felt like 10 minutes, even though the police officer was wounded in the leg.
“50 (shots) would be an understatement, I’m quite sure,” Flake said when asked about the total amount of gunfire, including police returning fire.
Flake said two members of Scalise’s security detail were wounded, and another man was wounded in the chest.
The Washington Post is streaming live with all the latest breaking news:
So far the only details we have about the shooter is that the action seems entirely intentional, that the shooter specifically chose to target the Congressman. There are other reports indicating that they could have been targeted because they were Republican lawmakers, though that is still unsubstantiated so I wouldn’t put any stock in it yet.
The Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for June 15th at Nationals Park. The charity game, which has been a tradition since 1909, pits Senate and House members of each party who sport the uniform of their home state. No word yet on whether the game will continue as scheduled tomorrow.
You can also follow the live stream from WUSA9:
Report from The Week about possible intentions of the shooter:
Shortly after the shooting Wednesday morning at a congressional baseball practice, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) told NBC News that it appeared the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.” Walker, who was at the practice for the upcoming annual congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, confirmed he was “shaken but okay.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.
Scalise is in stable condition, Alexandria PD are reporting the gunman is in custody, which conflicts with Senator Mike Lee’s earlier statement that the gunman was dead:
UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
Some unity when things like this happen:
— Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (@RepKihuen) June 14, 2017
Senator Jeff Flake, who was there at the practice, describes the scene:
Sen. Jeff Flake: Scalise "laid out there for at least 10 minutes, alone in the field. We couldn't get to him while there were shots." pic.twitter.com/P5Wo8elbNc
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 14, 2017
A little detail on the gunman possibly emerging:
— NEPABUZZ (@NEPABUZZ1) June 14, 2017
The suspect has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson.