Republicans shot during baseball practice
A Republican congressman and at least two others were struck Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire at a baseball field 10 miles outside the nation’s capital city.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise suffered a gunshot wound to the hip after witnesses told Fox News a man armed with a rifle and a pistol fired 50-100 rounds at more than two dozen people gathered at Simpson Field in Alexandria, Virginia for one last practice before Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game.
The event, a congressional tradition dating back to 1909, pits Republicans and Democrats against each other for charity. Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake told local media he’s practiced with fellow congressional Republicans at the field in Alexandria for 16 years and anticipated tomorrow’s game would raise $650,000 for underprivileged youth in Washington, D.C.
Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown told local media five people were transported to the hospital, including Scalise, two law enforcement officers, a congressional aide and the gunman. Scalise’s condition is listed as stable, according to Fox News.
Texas Republican Rep. Roger Williams was also photographed leaving the scene on a stretcher after injuring himself while jumping into a dugout for cover from the gunfire.
Brown said law enforcement arrived on the scene within three minutes, exchanging fire with the suspect — identified by law enforcement as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois — before shooting him and taking him into custody.
The shooter later died at the hospital, the president confirmed during a press conference just before noon Wednesday.
“We were like sitting ducks,” Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News. “Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre.”