Medevac chopper arrives after GOP congressman, aides, shot at during baseball practice
Multiple people were shot at a congressional baseball team practice in Virginia Wednesday morning.
Those injured include Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., two Capitol police officers, a congressional aide and the shooter, according to multiple reports. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said five people were transported to the hospital.
“Scalise was on second base, and was crawling out, leaving a trail of blood,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., in an interview on CNN, describing it as a “hip wound.” Scalise underwent surgery and is in stable condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, according to a statement by his office.
“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” the statement said. “He is grateful for the brave actions of the U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.”
Police say the suspect is among those shot and is now in custody, according to NBC 4.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria” that a man approached him in the parking lot who “wanted to know whether it was Republicans or Democrats that were out there.”
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said in a statement the gunman wanted to “kill as many Republican members as possible.”
The FBI is taking over the shooting investigation, Alexandria police said. Tim Slater of the FBI said in a press conference that it’s too soon to know if the congressmen were targeted.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said in an interview with CNN that Scalise was the only Congressional member shot and that it took about 10 minutes to take the shooter down.
“He had a lot of ammo,” Flake said, adding that he believed the shooter was using a rifle.
A staff member of Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, was among those shot, according to a statement from his office. He and the Capitol police officers are receiving medical attention. Williams, who has coached the Republican baseball team since 2013, was not shot, despite reports in some media outlets.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., were also at the practice. Paul told MSNBC that the other members at the practice had Scalise and his security detail to thank for their lives.
“Everybody probably would have died except for the fact that Capitol police where there,” Paul said. “And the only reason they were there was because we had a member of leadership on our team.”
“By him being there, he probably saved everybody else’s life,” he added. He also told CNN, “it would have been a massacre.”
Barton’s 10-year-old son was also at the practice, but “we got him into the dugout and stuffed him under the bench,” Flake told reporters.
President Donald Trump said in a statement that he and Vice President Mike Pence were aware of the shooting and are “saddened by this tragedy.”
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said this incident points to the need for more security for congressional members, especially in light of the amount of angry people at town halls lately.
The annual Congressional Baseball Game is a charitable event held every year, pitting Republicans and Democrats against each other. This year’s game was scheduled for Thursday. Paul said Republicans have used the same practice field for six years without incident.
Lesley Clark, Alex Roarty, Anita Kumar, Alex Daugherty and Anna Douglas contributed to this report.