Update: Congressman Steve Scalise is in critical condition. According to the Hill, he has had three surgeries since being admitted. The bullet pierced his leg at his hip breaking bones and causing internal bleeding. Doctors are working to deal with significant injuries to internal organs and except him to undergo additional procedures.
From Wednesday, June 14th
According to one eyewitness, several people were shot this morning at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told CNN that Scalise crawled in from the outfield after being shot but left a trail of blood. “We started giving him some liquids,” Brooks said. “I see a rifle, and I see a little bit of a body and then I hear another bam and I realize there’s still an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise over at second base scream he was shot,” Brooks added.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Morning Joe over the phone that he first heard a single shot, “which isn’t that unusual in the South,” followed by a “rapid succession of shots, 5 or 10 shots” and “50 to 60 shots” in total. Paul added that the gun sounded like an AR-15. He also said that if police hadn’t been there, there would have very likely been a massacre.
According to Paul, the Capitol Hill police were there because Scalise holds a leadership position in Congress. Without him there, Paul conjectured, they’d all likely be dead.
Two Capitol Hill police officers and at least one congressional aide were also wounded, according to police. Scalise and the police officers are reportedly in stable condition, according to NBC News. The shooter is in custody.
Virginia, as David Frum has pointed out on Twitter, is an “open carry” state, which means it is legal to openly carry a firearm in public, with or with a Concealed Handgun Permit. Virginia also does not require background checks or permits for concealed carry of long guns. No state permit is required to purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun in Virginia.
No background checks
No permit req’d for concealed carry of long guns
Open carry long guns & handguns
— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 14, 2017
This story has been updated – 12:22 pm.
The suspected shooter has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Hodgkinson was shot by Capitol Police and Alexandria Police before he was taken to the hospital, where he died from multiple wounds, officials said.
The incident occurred about 10 miles from Washington DC, at Simpson Field in Alexandria, Virginia at around 7 am this morning. The FBI has taken over the investigation because Scalise, a federal official, was assaulted in the attack.
Hodgkinson had been living in Alexandria, Virginia, for the past two months, but was not working and had been expected to return to Illinois shortly, his wife told ABC News.
Zack Barth, a congressional aide to Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) and Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, were also wounded in the attack, according to ABC News.
At least 21 members of Congress were at this morning’s baseball practice, including Scalise and two US senators.