Suspect dead after opening fire at Congressional baseball practice
(ABC/ WTNH) — A gunman has died after opening fire earlier this morning on members of Congress practicing for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Lousiana, a lobbyist, a congressional staffer and two Capitol Police officers.
The suspect died from his injuries sustained in the shooting, President Donald Trump said in his remarks late this morning.
Scalise’s office said Scalise was shot in the hip and is undergoing surgery. He is listed in stable condition, his office said.
“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” his office said. “He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues. We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”
Multiple law enforcement sources identified the suspected shooter as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. His wife told ABC News he has been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past two months, but had not been working and was expected to return to Illinois in the coming days.
WHO WAS THERE & CONFIRMED INJURED:
Rep. Steve Scalise
Rep. Williams’ staffer – name has not been released
An unidentified shooter
Two other unidentified people- possible security detail and/or lobbyists
The shooting took place around 7 a.m. in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, about seven miles away from the White House in Washington, D.C., where a number of lawmakers were practicing for the annual charity congressional baseball game set for Thursday. Only Republicans were at this practice; Democrats practiced earlier in the morning.
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Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent working for Texas Rep. Roger Williams, was among those shot, according to a statement from Williams. Barth is receiving medical attention and is expected to make a full recovery, Williams said.
Williams’ office said the Republican baseball team holds practice every morning at 6:30 a.m. ET at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park and that Williams is the team’s coach.
Matt Mika, who works as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, was also injured. A Tyson Foods spokesperson said in a statement that Mika, director of government relations for its Washington, D.C., office, was hospitalized, adding, “We’re awaiting word on his condition. Matt has worked for Tyson Foods for more than six years and we’re deeply concerned about him and his family.”
Mika previously worked for Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Michigan, and remains “a close friend” of his, according to a statement from Walberg.
“As a former baseball player, he was volunteering at this morning’s practice to help the congressional team get ready for the game,” Walberg said in a statement. “This is deeply personal and Sue and I are praying for Matt as he receives medical attention.”
Brooks said he took off his belt and he and another congressman applied a tourniquet to try to slow the bleeding.
Brooks said a security detail returned fire at the active shooter. Brooks estimated that 50 to 100 shots were fired.
At least 21 members of Congress were at this morning’s baseball practice, including Scalise and two U.S. senators. Staffers and family members were also there; Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex., said his two sons were in attendance, including his 11-year-old son. All members of the GOP baseball team have been accounted for.
Barton said in a statement, “The suspect was shooting at members and staff on the field. Officers of the Capitol Police returned fire and ran toward the shooter, risking their lives while saving others. The incident lasted for approximately 10 minutes.”
WHO WAS THERE & CONFIRMED OK:
Rep. Joe Barton & his chief of staff
Rep. Steve Pearce
Rep. Steven Palazoo
Rep. Mo Brooks
Sen. Rand Paul – says he was in the batting cage at the time of the shooting and he heard at least 50 to 60 shots fired.
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Brad Wenstrup – he is an Army reserve doctor and treated Scalise
Rep. Ron DeSantis – he also was live on SPEV
Sen. Jeff Flake
Rep. Chuck Fleishmann
Rep. Bill Johnson – at the field, but left before shooting)
Rep. Roger Williams – he is the coach of the team, his staffer was injured
Rep Mark Walker
Rep Barry Loudermilik
Rep Jeff Duncan
Rep. Trent Kelly
Rep. John Moolenaar
Rep. Gary Palmer
Rep. Mike Bishop
Rep. Jack Bergman
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, told ABC News he was in the batting cage when he heard an isolated gunshot.
Then “a burst of gunfire” erupted, Paul said. “At that point, people were dropping. Scalise was shot around second base and he crawled a little bit into the outfield,” he explained.
Paul said Scalise’s security detail exchanged fire with the active shooter.
“These guys were real heroes and I think without them everybody probably would have been killed,” Paul said. “Steve Scalise is in leadership and that’s the only reason there was security detail there at all. I’m sad that he was shot but he actually saved everybody’s life by being there.”‘
President Donald Trump said in a statement, “The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”
Gabrielle Giffords, the last member of Congress to be shot, surviving a shooting in 2011, tweeted this morning, “My heart is with my former colleagues, their families; staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.”
Vice President Mike Pence has canceled a speech that was set for this morning.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement in response to the shooting:
Senator Chris Murphy also reacted to the shooting by tweeting “oh my God.”
Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty also tweeted about the shooting.
Congressman Jim Himes tweeted soon as he heard the news.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro tweeted that she is keeping everyone involved in her thoughts and prayers.