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UPDATE: Rep. Scalise in critical condition following Alexandria shooting; Suspect dead

A lone, rifle-wielding gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria early Wednesday morning. Congressman Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana, the third-ranking House Republican, was among several individuals shot and wounded.

President Donald Trump later confirmed that the suspect died from injuries suffered in a gunfire exchange with Rep. Scalise’s security detail, which lasted nearly 10 minutes.

The suspected shooter, identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, was one among five individuals taken to area hospitals. Two members of Rep. Scalise’s protective detail were wounded in the gunfire exchange, but were expected to recover. Two people, a lobbyist and congressional aide, were reportedly in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital, one of whom died later in the afternoon. Texas Rep. Roger Williams, coach of the GOP baseball team, reported that a member of his staff was shot and wounded.

A second Congressman sustained minor injuries and was also transported by a medic unit, according to the FBI. An additional Capitol Police officer was transported to the hospital in a police cruiser for minor injuries and has since been released.

Rep. Scalise underwent surgery for a gunshot to the hip and was listed in critical condition, but retained consciousness leading to the procedure at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia released a statement regarding the shooting.

“The heroic actions today by the U.S. Capitol Police officers at the scene of the shooting saved the lives of my colleagues and congressional staff members. Our Capitol Police officers and colleagues who went to the aid of the victims are true heroes. Every day Capitol Police put their lives on the line to protect Members of Congress, staff, and the public who come to Capitol Hill. Congress came together as one today. As Speaker Ryan said, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. My husband, Chip, and our family are praying for a speedy recovery of my friend and colleague Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the staff members, and the Capitol Police officers who are recovering from their injuries,” said Rep. Comstock.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also released a statement, saying, “I am praying for Rep. Scalise and all hurt in the outrageous attack this morning in Alexandria. Thank you to the Capitol Police, Alexandria Police, first responders and everyone helping those harmed.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) released a statement regarding the shooting as well this morning.

"Dorothy and I are shocked and deeply saddened by this horrible act of violence against members of Congress, law enforcement and other innocent people who were simply enjoying an early morning baseball practice. We are praying for swift recoveries for those who were injured and we are thankful for the bravery and quick action of U.S. Capitol Police and local first responders to stop the attacker and treat those who were wounded. Virginia public safety officials are coordinating with local responders and we will continue to monitor this situation and make every resource available,” McAuliffe said.

Later, in a press conference, Governor McAuliffe emphasized the need for increased gun regulations.

“Let me say this: I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens. I have long advocated ‒ this is not what today is about, but there are too many guns on the street,” Governor McAuliffe said when asked if anything more needs to be done to protect politicians. “Background checks, shutting down gun show loopholes ‒ that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day for all of our citizens.”

Michael Hodgkinson, the shooter’s brother, spoke to The New York Times in a telephone interview.

“I know that he wasn’t happy, the election results and stuff,” Hodgkinson said. He added that he was not close with his brother and had not been aware of why his brother remained in Washington. He also said that the shooting was “totally out of the blue.” His brother was engaged in politics but lived an otherwise normal life.

President Trump said he was “deeply saddened by this tragedy.” Later, he commended the Capitol Police.

“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,” he said.

President Trump also said the FBI is investigating the shooting and will provide updates as they become available, and confirmed that Rep. Scalise was, at that time, in stable condition.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, said he had just left the practice prior to the shooting and encountered the gunman in the parking lot, according to the Associated Press. The man calmly asked Rep. Duncan which party’s lawmakers were practicing, and after Rep. Duncan said that they were Republicans, the man thanked him.

The shooter initially fired from behind the fence, near third base, and aimed at third basemen Rep. Trent Kelly (R) of Mississippi, but missed. Rep. Scalise was then shot in the hip and crawled towards the outfield. A staffer in the outfield was shot in the leg and ran to the first-base dugout, where some players took temporary cover.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said the gunman apparently volunteered on his campaign, and that he is “sickened by this despicable act.”

The FBI released a statement that the agency “is actively investigating Hodgkinson to include his associates, whereabouts, social media impressions, and potential motivations.”

The FBI also reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is running a trace on a rifle and a handgun, while law enforcement including the FBI Evidence Response Team, ATF, and Alexandria Police Department are collecting evidence. Additionally, the FBI Springfield and St. Louis Evidence Response Teams are searching the subject’s home in Belleville, Illinois.

The Republican lawmakers had been practicing for an annual congressional charity baseball game of Democrats versus Republicans, scheduled for this Thursday evening at Nationals Park. The GOP team had gathered for practice at 7 a.m. and was taking batting practice when gunshots first rang out. Rep. Scalise, a lifelong fan of baseball, had been playing second base when he was shot. He then dragged himself to the outfield to escape the gunman.

“I think everybody handled it well and things seem to be under control, ” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Associated Press.

Comments


Further proof that the GOP and their supporters are blood thirsty war mongers.


actually, LoudounResident - he said 93 people - he misspoke and within seconds, correct himself - your posting of the 93 million number here can only be meant to inflame the discussion with fakery


Hey!  You left out McAuliffe’s statement where he said that 93 million people PER DAY were killed by gun violence.  That was an important stat, he said it twice!


165 days, 154 mass shootings -
ask congress why they voted for easier access to guns for mentally unstable - 2017


Kaine has the nerve to comment when his son was arrested for his son’s involvement in a riot during a pro-Trump event along with Kaine calling for Dems to “fight in the streets against Trump.”


Let’s see if the LTM will own up and talk about the shooter as the hateful Liberal he truly is instead of injecting anti-second amendment garbage from McAuliffe.


Gifford’s assailant was totally deranged and did the act for no political purpose.  It was that stupid Sheriff Dupenik who injected that into the national conversation and thus, the anti-gun “crosshairs” narrative of the leftists was born!  In this case, Hodgkinson clearly had a political motive, as witnesses said he came up to find out if these were Republicans practicing baseball.  But he’s dead so we will never really know for sure.  Sorry Democrats —you own this problem with your violent anti Trump rhetoric and imagery


DD, that’s hilarious! Thanks for the good laugh.

 


We have some ignorant people in this County and the comments below demonstrate it.


Not surprising that DD and L4T are jumping on this terrible incident. Anyone remember when Gabby Gifford was shot and the right jumped at anyone who said it was politically instigated.  Instead, folks like DD and LT$ claimed that it was a single incident with no ties to the nasty rhetoric of the times including Sara Palin promoting aggression toward democrats.


Yeah, it’s the hateful liberals ◔_◔. Trump would never host someone who threatened to kill Obama< because the right is so genteel.


When the Democratic media constantly incites anger, what did they think was going to happen?


Liberals and guns are a bad combo…not surprised the Bernie supporter cut loose after viewing a severed head of trump by KG and the killing of trump in a Shakespeare play…liberals are hateful and angry people, not the peace loving kind the pretend to be…Remember all “Love Trumps Hate”...the liberals loved this on twitter too calling it karma, what a sick group of people.

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