anteater water polo GOP leader injured in shooting
The wounded also included at least one Capitol Police officer and the suspected shooter. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said two of his officers engaged in and return fire.
The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, a 66 year old unemployed home inspector from southern Illinois, was killed in the shootout. Two Capitol Police officers assigned to Scalise security detail were wounded.
Hodgkinson, who had been living in his van in Alexandria for the past few months, had posted anti Trump rhetoric on his Facebook page and written letters to his hometown newspaper blaming Republicans for what he considered an agenda favoring the wealthy.
The mass shooting, coming amid political rancor and a divided country, reverberated through Washington and beyond, as Trump and members of Congress began talking about unity for the first time since the presidential election.
The targeted lawmakers were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, a charity competition against a team of Democrats. The game will be played Thursday night at Nationals Park as planned.
Several congressmen at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria praised the Capitol Police officers who engaged Hodgkinson, including two who were injured. One lawmaker said the baseball team members would have been sitting ducks had the gunman been able to make it onto the field.
would have been a bloodbath, said Rep. Joe Barton, R Texas.
Added Rep. Jack Bergman, R Mich., a retired Army general: he had been able to gain entrance to the field, it would have been a whole different story, he said.
As of Wednesday evening, Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, remained in critical condition after undergoing surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. A lobbyist, a congressional aide and a Capitol Police officer also were shot, while a second officer was struck by shrapnel. Rep. Roger Williams, R Texas, injured his ankle while helping others take cover.
In a televised statement from the White House, Trump called for people to come together and commended the injured officers.
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.
Trump said he spoke with Scalise wife and offered his full support to the congressman family, calling Scalise a friend, patriot and fighter. He also thanked the first responders.
may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation capital is here because, above all, they love our country, Trump said. EDT, when the shooter began firing more than 50 rounds from a military style rifle and a handgun, taking aim through the chain link fence.
Scalise was felled by a bullet to the hip as he fielded grounders at second base, witnesses said. Then the aide and the lobbyist were struck as the gunman moved methodically around the fence and toward the home plate backstop. As Scalise crawled across the field, leaving a trail of blood, the gunman advanced toward a dugout, where several people were hiding.
Congressmen said the Capitol Police officers emerged from the dugout, moving toward the gunfire. A woman walking her dog heard a female officer scream, your weapon, before the gunman her and she fell to the ground. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy,
R Calif., said the officers out into the fire to draw the fire. The shooter was moving toward the dugout where the members were, and they were able to take him down. said five people were taken to hospitals, including Hodgkinson. Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, was in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital, a spokeswoman said. Zach Barth, a legislative correspondent for Rep. Roger Williams, R Texas, was shot in the leg and released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
The House Speaker office identified the injured Capitol Police officers as Special Agents David Bailey, who was treated and released from a hospital, and Crystal Griner, who was struck in the ankle and hospitalized in good condition. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said both are expected to recover fully. Police identified a third officer who participated as Special Agent Henry Cabrera. They did not say which officers fired their weapons.
Scalise office said in a statement the congressman was in good spirits and speaking to his wife, Jennifer, by phone before he went in for surgery. He has been in Congress since 2008 and represents a district that includes some New Orleans suburbs and bayou parishes. He and his wife have two children.
Verderosa said it take a while to sort through all the details during the investigation, which is now being led by the FBI. Tim Slater of the FBI said it is early to tell whether anyone was targeted. . It really raw now. focus immediately turned to political statements Hodgkinson made on social media, interactions he had with lawmakers, and run ins he had with law enforcement officials near his home in Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.
Rep. Duncan added, told him they were Republicans. He said, thanks, and turned around.
shaken up, Duncan said. colleagues were targeted today. Bernie Sanders, I Vt., said Hodgkinson volunteered on his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, although an aide said he had no formal role and no one could remember him. Sanders denounced the shooting, saying on the Senate floor he was by this despicable act. had sent letters to his local newspaper in Illinois decrying income inequality, encouraging the government to tax the rich and supporting President Barack Obama, according to the Belleville News Democrat.
strong middle class is what a country needs to prosper, he wrote in one of his letters to the editor. only thing that has trickled down in the last 30 years came from Mitt Romney dog. in Belleville reported responding in March to a complaint that Hodgkinson was shooting at the end of his street, firing 50 rounds the pine trees. Police said he had a valid license for the weapon and that he agreed to stop when they told him to.
Rep. Mike Bost, R Ill., who represented the district where Hodgkinson lived, said Hodgkinson had contacted his office 14 times via email or by telephone, and that although he never made threats, was always angry. Brennwald, a lawyer who lives in Alexandria, said he realized after seeing Hodgkinson photo on the news that he was the same man who had been hanging out for at least the past several weeks in the lobby of a YMCA adjacent to Simpson field. Brennwald said Hodgkinson would regularly show up first thing in the morning about the same time the shooting took place and look at his laptop or stare out the window.
never worked out. He never talked to anybody. He never did anything, Brennwald said. They are investigating whether they were obtained legally.
Scalise, who plays second base, was accompanied by members of the Capitol Police Department executive protection unit, because as majority whip he is the third highest ranking member of the House. His security detail was positioned behind the first base dugout;
witnesses said the shooter started on the other side of the diamond.