House Majority Whip shot at congressional baseball practice
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot Wednesday by a gunman with a rifle at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, officials said. His wounds were not life-threatening.
Several others were wounded, including two law enforcement officers. President Donald Trump said at a press conference the suspect died of his wounds.
Scalise was in critical condition after surgery.
The shooter was identified by NBC News and CBS News as James T. Hodgkinson.
Alexandria police had said shortly after the shooting a suspect was in custody and “not a threat.”
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said that Scalise, 51, was down on the ground with what Brooks described as “a hip wound.”
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was at the practice and said, “All of a sudden we heard a very loud shot. … Then boom, rapid succession after that. He had a rifle of some type.”
Flake said the gunman was by the third base dugout “with a clear view of the field.”
Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., said Scalise was standing on second base when he was shot.
“I was looking right at him,” Bishop told Detroit radio station WWJ. “He was a sitting duck.”
Brooks said the Scalise “crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood.”
“We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip,” Brooks said.
Scalise is the No. 3 House Republican leader. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.
Rep. Jeff Duncan said in a statement that he was at the practice and “saw the shooter.”
“Please pray for my colleagues,” Duncan said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said Scalise’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening and that a member of the security detail was also shot.
The hospital where Scalise is recovering after being shot says the congressman remains in critical condition and will require several more operations.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is also providing a more detailed description of Scalise’s wounds. The hospital says he was shot in the left hip, after which “the bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding.”
Trump made a surprise visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where and first lady Melania Trump brought two bouquets of flowers to the hospital.
Katie Filous was walking her two dogs near the field when she heard “a lot of shots, probably more than 20.” She said the shooting “went on for quite a while.”
Filous said she saw the shooter hit a uniformed law enforcement officer, who she said was later evacuated by helicopter. She said the officer had gotten out of a parked car, drawn a handgun and shouted something to the gunman, who then fired.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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