Gunman dead after opening fire at congressional baseball practice
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 13) - House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others have been shot Wednesday during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Scalise was shot in the hip and several others were also wounded by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a charity baseball practice. A total of five people were taken to area hospitals, including at least one aide and two police officers. At least two people are in critical condition.
The shooter was identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, Fox News confirmed.
President Trump said in a press conference that the gunman died from his injuries after being shot and taken into custody by U.S. Capital Police.
Scalise, 51, is expected to be okay and is undergoing surgery at George Washington University Hospital.
Officers received a call for a multiple shooting on the 400 block of E. Monroe Street in the Delray area of Alexandria, Virginia, at around 7:30 a.m. The location is near a YMCA and a dog park. Pictures posted from inside the YMCA show bullet holes in the windows of the facility.
Senator Rand Paul was present at the time of the shooting. He told FOX News that he heard 50 to 60 shots ring out. He and an aide hid behind a tree during the attack.
Texas Rep. Roger Williams confirmed that a member of his staff was shot at the practice. In a statement, Williams said he was not shot but that a member of his staff was and is receiving medical attention.
According to Sen. Paul, they were "lucky" that Scalise was there, because he travels with a security detail and without them he believes this would have been a "massacre." He described the scene as a "killing field"
Rep. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) said that he left just minutes before the shooting, and as he walked to his car a aked if it was the Republicans or Democrats playing. Minutes later, shots rang out. It is unknown whether that person was the shooter.
The gunman had a rifle and "a lot of ammo," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona, who was at the practice.
Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present, then dragged himself into the outfield to get away from the gunman.
Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said his colleague "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.
Texas Rep. Joe Barton, still in his baseball uniform, told reporters, "Scalise's security detail and the Capitol Hill police immediately returned fire, and Alexandria Police also immediately came and began to return fire. They shot the shooter. The security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter."
Barton said the shooting lasted 5-10 minutes, and there were dozens if not hundreds of shots fired.
"It was scary," Barton said.
Lawmakers took cover in the dugout. Barton said his 10-year-old son, Jack, got under an SUV.
FBI special agent in charge Tim Slater said it was "too early to say" whether it was an act of terrorism, or whether Scalise was targeted.
The Republican members of congress were practicing for an annual charity baseball game scheduled for Thursday.
Rep. Dennis Ross, Senior Deputy Majority Whip who serves Florida's 15th Congressional District, which includes Hillsborough and Polk counties, is on the congressional baseball team but was not present at the practice Wednesday morning.
Rep. Ross released the following statement, "Cindy's and my thoughts and prayers are with Whip Scalise, the staff, the Capitol Police officers, and the family and friends of those hurt. Our deep appreciation goes out to the Capitol Police and local law enforcement officers for their protection."
Congressman Scalise is the first member of Congress to be shot since Gabby Giffords in 2011.
The office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise released the following statement on his condition following this morning’s shooting:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.