Steve Scalise, Congressman Wounded in Shooting

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is in stable condition after being shot early Wednesday at a baseball practice field in a Washington, D.C., suburb, according to multiple reports.

Scalise was one of several people shot at the practice in Alexandria, Va., where it is believed a single gunman fired dozens of shots at lawmakers and aides who scrambled for cover.

An Illinois man who volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign in Iowa has been identified in multiple media reports as the shooter. James T. Hodgkinson was shot at the scene and later died from his injuries.

Scalise’s office said he was in good spirits and had talked to his wife before undergoing emergency surgery after being shot in the hip.

“He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,” the office said. “We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said he was at the batting cage at the time of the incident, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he heard as many as 50 shots and described what he believed was the shooter reloading.

Paul described a frightening scene, with shots landing near aides who had taken cover on the ground. One staffer, he said, scrambled over a fence to get away from the fire.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and Paul both described Scalise as dragging himself away from the fire.

Brooks said one of the congressmen present at the shooting applied a tourniquet to Scalise to help him.
“I took off my belt, and myself and the other congressman, I don’t remember who, applied a tourniquet to try to slow down the bleeding,” he said.

“You’re pretty helpless,” Brooks told CNN of the scene. He said he had hit the ground when the shooting began, but then decided along with others to try to find better cover.

“The two or three of us that were lying belly down on the ground, we made a decision, but we all got up, and we sprinted toward the third base dugout so we’d at least have some cover,” he told CNN.
“We have nothing but baseball bats to fight back against a rifle with.”
Brooks said the gunman stood behind a dugout.

“He appeared to be a white male,” Brooks said, adding that he only saw the gunman for a fraction of a second.

Two Capitol Police officers on protective detail were also wounded.

Paul said police prevented more casualties with their actions, while Brooks described “one of our guys” firing back at the shooter.

“It was rather startling, as you can imagine, to look up and there’s a pistol being fired about five feet from your head,” he said.

“The joy I felt knowing it was one of our guys — I’ll never forget that guy. He also got shot somewhere in the process defending congressmen.”

One aide was wounded in the attack. Rep. Roger Williams‘s (R-Texas) office said the wounded aide was a member of his staff.

Zachary Barth, the Williams staffer, later posted a message on social media that he was ok.

Flake told MSNBC a fifth person wounded in the shooting was a man whom Flake said worked for Tyson Foods and helped out with the Congressional Baseball Game.

The GOP lawmakers were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which was set to take place Thursday night at Nationals Park.

Democratic lawmakers were practicing for the game at a different location.

The shooting recalled the deadly violence at former Rep. Gabby Giffords’s (D) town hall event in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011. Giffords was badly wounded when a gunman opened fire during a constituent meeting at a supermarket parking lot. Six people were killed in the shooting.

Giffords has since become one of the nation’s leading proponents of tougher gun control laws.

Trump issued a statement early Wednesday saying he and Vice President Mike Pence  were “deeply saddened” by the shooting.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” the president said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

He also described Scalise as a “patriot” in a separate message on Twitter.

Multiple lawmakers tweeted that their thoughts and prayers were with those affected by Wednesday’s shooting.

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