On Wednesday morning, a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the multiple reports, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and is undergoing surgery, but is in stable condition. Texas U.S. Representative Roger Williams, the coach of the Republican team, was present at the practice and confirmed on Twitter that one of his staffers, Zach Barth, was also shot, and is “expected to make a full recovery,” according to Williams. According to a statement from President Trump, the gunman has been killed. Two police officers were also wounded in the shooting.
He is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.
— Rep. Roger Williams (@RepRWilliams) June 14, 2017
In addition to Williams, three other Texas lawmakers present at the practice: U.S. Representatives Joe Barton, Kevin Brady, and Mike Conaway. The Texas Tribune reports that the representatives have been confirmed safe. Barton told the Associated Press that the shooting lasted five to ten minutes and that anywhere from dozens or hundreds of shots were fired.
The Washington Post has identified the suspect as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois. Charles Orear, a St. Louis restaurant manager and Facebook friend of Hodgkinson’s told the Post that he met Hodgkinson while they were in Iowa participating in Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Orear said in a phone interview with the Post. “I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area.”
BREAKING: Texas Rep. Joe Barton says the shooting lasted 5-10 minutes, dozens, if not hundreds of shots fired; `it was scary'
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 14, 2017
— Tom Williams (@pennstatetom) June 14, 2017
CNN reports that law enforcement sources are calling the shooting a “deliberate attack.” When shots first rang out in the field, lawmakers and staffers ran into dugouts and jumped over fences to take cover while Scalise was lying wounded, CNN describes:
Members described Scalise dragging himself roughly 15 yards away from second base, where he had been playing, and lying there until the shooter was neutralized, at which point some of them ran to assist him and apply pressure to the wound until he could be evacuated. Once they were able, Sen. Jeff Flake said he and Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who is a physician, went out to where Scalise was lying to apply pressure to the wound. Scalise was coherent the whole time, Flake said.