I was watching TV morning news, when the programming was interrupted to announce that US Congressional Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) and his aid were shot by a single gun man while they were participating at a practice baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. Representative Scalise and his coworkers were hard at work to get ready for this week’s bipartisan game to be held at the National stadium.
Witnesses have described Rep. Scalise dragging himself from second base into the outfield after he was shot, leaving a trail of blood. It seemed like at least 10 minutes before someone could get to him to render assistance. Those present indicated that they heard a single isolated shot followed by a “rapid succession” of 5 to 10 shots.
The democrats were practicing at another location. They ended the workout as they took time out to pray for their fellow coworkers.
Fortunately, because Rep. Sclaise has been in a leadership position in the US Congress, the Capitol police were on hand where two were able to disable the shooter. Both were wounded. Another representative, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio who had experience as a combat surgeon was on hand to provide first aid. Within minutes a helicopter was taking Rep. Scalise, his aid, the two capitol police and the gun man to the closest hospital. There may be a sixth victim. So far, it looks like there have been no fatalities. A GW Hospital spokesperson has announced that the two wounded capitol officers were in critical condition. Rep. Scalise’s office provided an update that he was in good spirits before he was transported into surgery.
It looks like the gunman may have been specifically targeting republicans. Earlier the shooter had asked someone if those who were playing baseball, were republicans. This has not been confirmed. It has been mentioned that the perpetrator was using a rifle where he could fire multiple shots. He has been described as a heavy set man with a height of about 5 feet 10 inches.
Here is the rest of the story…
As per today’s 6/14/17 USA Today report by John Bacon, “A gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional team practice Wednesday and at least one congressman was wounded, authorities said.”
“Multiple congressman at the scene in Alexandria, Va., said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was among those wounded. Police in Alexandria, Va., said a suspect was in custody.”
“Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said the shooting occurred at the field where the Republican baseball team practices. The practice session was almost over when the shooting occurred, he said.”
“I heard a bang, and I thought it sounded like a gun. I never saw a shooter,” he said. “I heard him. I was close to the damn thing. Some of our people have been hit. This is horrible. I got bloody running and jumping into the dugout.”
“Fleischmann estimated there were 50 to 60 people at the practice, including House members, senators and their staffs. “Many have been shot, but a lot like me got bloody running for cover,” he said.”
“It is just a madhouse here,” Fleischmann said. “It’s horrible. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”
“Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who was at the scene, said several people were shot but that Scalise was the only House member wounded.”
“We heard a very loud shot” during batting practice,” Flake said. Then many more shots, and Capitol Police returned fire.”
“Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., told CNN, people scattered and that Scalise was among those who were shot.”
“He was not able to move under his own power. He was dragging his body from second base,” Brooks said. “There was not a whole lot we could do. He was shot in the hip. I think it was not a life-threatening wound.”
“It’s not easy when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself,” Brooks said. “You feel helpless.”
“The team of Republican congressman and staff members were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled for later this week against a Democratic team. Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said his team was practicing when they heard about the attack on the Republicans.”
“We’re safe & with police, everyone praying for GOP colleagues, staff & Cap police,” Huffman tweeted.”
As per the 6/14/17 Washington Post update by Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima, “The shooter at the GOP congressional baseball practice this morning is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. Hodgkinson, 66 or (67), owns a home inspection business. His home inspection license expired in November 2016 and was not renewed, state records show.” Mr. Hodgkinson has passed away due to gunshot wounds.
Crustyolemothman has shared a facebook link belonging to Mr. James T. Hodgkinson below in his comments.