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Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others were shot in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning after a gunman approached the congressman and his staff at a community baseball field and opened fire, according to police and multiple eyewitness accounts.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who was at the field, confirmed the shooting, which took place at approximately 7:15am ET. The shooting reportedly lasted as long as 1o minutes, according to eyewitnesses. “Behind third base, I see a rifle. … I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream,” Brooks told CNN.
Scalise’s office said in a statement that the congressman is undergoing surgery and is in stable condition.
According to Brooks, the gunman fired 50 or more shots. Scalise was reportedly shot in the hip, according to Brooks’ account to CNN. Fox News reports that a Scalise aide was shot in the chest. The office of Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) confirmed that one of his staffers was shot. Matt Mika, a former lobbyist for Tyson Foods and the company’s current director of government relations, was also reportedly shot.
Two Capitol Hill police officers were also shot. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) identified the injured officers as David Bailey and Crystal Greiner. Their injuries are reportedly not life-threatening.
As House majority whip, Scalise receives a security detail, which is why Capitol Hill police were at the basketball practice. Sen. Rand Paul. (R-Ky.) confirmed Capitol Hill police took down the shooter. “It would have been a massacre without them,” Paul told reporters.
The Alexandria Police Department said the suspect is in custody and is “no longer a threat.”
The alleged gunman was later identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. President Donald Trump said during an announcement late Wednesday morning that Hodgkinson died from his injuries.
UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who witnessed the shooting, told Fox News that the shooter was in his “40s, 50s, dark haired, white.” Flake said he picked up Scalise’s phone and called his wife to inform her of her husband’s condition so she would not learn about it from the news.
As a result of the shooting, all votes in the House of Representatives have been suspended.
Text from Mo Brooks, who was at the congressional baseball game practice. pic.twitter.com/gRVj8YjTIU— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 14, 2017
#BREAKING Shooting at Congressional baseball practice. Scalise hit. Other staffers hit. Gunmen with rifle— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 14, 2017
ALERT: APD investigating multiple shooting 400 block E Monroe St. Suspect believed in custody. Stay from area, let emergency vehicles thru.— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
The shooting occurred at a park in Alexandria, Va. Multiple congressmen were at the practice, most likely in advance of the Congressional Baseball Game, an annual event dating back to 1909.
According to Rep. Ron DeSantis, the gunman asked him and others whether the people on the field were “Republicans or Democrats out there.” This has not yet been confirmed by authorities.
Rep. DeSantis who at baseball practice recalls: “A guy...walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there.” pic.twitter.com/GwozCPRdve— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 14, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the shooting via Twitter and said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been briefed on the matter.
President Trump issued a statement on the shooting, saying he is “monitoring” the situation. In a statement later on Wednesday morning, Trump praised the Capitol police officers who shot the gunman. “Many lives would’ve been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol police officers,” Trump said.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a life-threatening assassination attempt in 2011, offered her well wishes to all those affected, praising them as “public servants and heroes.”
My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) June 14, 2017
The congressional baseball game, for which the victims of the attack were practicing, will continue on Thursday as scheduled.
Last updated at 12:33pm ET.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]