50 shots fired at Republican lawmakers practicing baseball
Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan told a gunman that lawmakers on a baseball field were Republicans - then left the lawmakers’ baseball practice before 50 shots were fired at the event, and the gunman was shot to death.
A gunman opened fire on a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning; and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot in the hip. Scalise and other members of Congress were in the middle of a Congressional baseball practice. A congressional aide said Scalise is undergoing surgery at George Washington University Hospital.
Scalise's office says that prior to entering surgery, the congressman was in good spirits and that he spoke with his wife over the phone.
Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama was on the field at the time and says at least 50 shots had been fired.
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.”
Sen. Jeff Flake, who was at the baseball practice, told reporters he called Scalise's wife to alert her of the situation.
An aide of Rep. Roger Williams of Texas was also shot in the carnage. Williams himself was not injured.
Please keep the member of my staff and all members of the congressional baseball team in your thoughts and prayers pic.twitter.com/wH4b6wXQhs
— Rep. Roger Williams (@RepRWilliams) June 14, 2017
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) June 14, 2017
#BREAKING TX Rep Roger Williams head of baseball caucus was hit and taken off in stretcher. Sen Jeff Flake was at bat
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 14, 2017
Scalise is the No. 3 House Republican leader. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.
Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Scalise's home state has released a statement calling the shooting an "outrageous, cowardly attack."
South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan says he believes he saw the shooter, but left before the incident began. Duncan says he is safe:
Two Capitol police officers were injured in the shooting. Sen. Rand Paul says the officers saved the lives of everyone there.
"Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police. It would have been a massacre without them," Paul said.
Because Scalise is part of the House leadership, he is followed by Capitol Police for security reasons.
Police do have the reported shooter in custody, but they have not released his identity at this point.
UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
Alexandria police say other victims have been transported to nearby hospitals.
Law enforcement officials are calling the shooting a "deliberate attack."