While details are still coming in, one thing is clear, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a congressional aide were shot by a rifle-wielding gunman who opened fire on a charity GOP baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning. In the ensuing mayhim, the gunman was himself taken down by U.S. Capitol Police. Authorities have identified the shooter as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, and Fox News is reporting that the gunman surcummed to his wounds, saving taxpayers a huge amount of money.
In a White House address, President Trump said: “Steve Scalice was shot and badly wounded and is now in stable condition at the hospital along with two very brave Capitol Police officers. At least two others were also wounded.”
Zack Barth, a congressional aide to Roger Williams, and Tyson Foods director of government relations Matt Mika were also injured.
Later President Trump issued the following Tweet;
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Who was also at the event, told Fox News: “We were like sitting ducks. Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre.” Paul went on to say that the scene looked like a “sort of a killing field.”
The gunman, Hodgkinson, was shot when both Capitol Police and Alexandria Police officers returned his fire and then took him into custody. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital, officials said. The incident occurred at Simpson Field in Alexandria, about 10 miles from Washington D.C. The FBI has assumed the lead in the investigation due to the assaulting of a federal official.
Currently the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office Timothy Slater is not giving any reason for the attack saying that it was too early to tell if the attack was terror-related. But according to witnesses if it was terror-related, it was due to political factors rather than a Religious vendetta. In addition to Rep. Scalise, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex., was taken from the field on a stretcher, but sources said he was not hit by gunfire but did injure himself while trying to get under cover from the shooting. But Williams’ office released a statement saying a staffer had been shot. Rep Mo Brooks reportedly used a belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding of the aide who had been shot in the leg.
Rep Mo Brooks of Alabama told talk radio FMTALK 1065, “Finally, the shooter was shot behind home plate as he was circling around to the first base dugout where there were a number of US congressmen and other folks. Our security detail was able to incapacitate him at that point. I don’t know if he [the shooter] was dead. He was wounded. I don’t know how many times he was wounded.”