Multiple are shot today in Alexandria, Virginia, across the river from Washington D.C. Congressman Steve Scalise, the House majority whip is in critical condition. U.S. Capitol Police members and a congressional staffer are also injured.
Some witnesses say they heard 50 plus shots fired in two minutes from the gunman before the Alexandria Police arrived. Alexandria PD and Capital Police exchanged fire with the gunman and eventually subdued him. The weapon is described as a rifle, possibly an AR-15 or AK-47 type weapon.
Congressman Scalise was reportedly able to speak to his wife on the phone before entering surgery. One other is in critical condition. Scalise and four others were transported to hospitals in the area, Chief Brown of the Alexandria Police said today in a press conference. Governor McAuliffe of Virginia stated that authorities did not have any idea that any attack would occur today.
President Trump tweeted today that Scalise is “a friend and a patriot.”
Zach Barth, the aid injured has taken to social media to confirm his safety. The hospital told Fox News that the female Capital Police officer attached to Congressman Scalise’s detail who was injured is in stable condition. “Had they not been there-there would have been a massacre,” Illinois Representative Rodney Davis told MSNBC.
Acts of heroism were not in short supply this morning on the diamond. Brad Wenstru, a member of Congress from Ohio reportedly used his belt to tourniquet Scalise’s leg amid the scene.
Senator Rand Paul has spoken to Fox News and described the situation in detail.
This is Rand Paul’s public statement.
The shooter was wounded in the exchange and is in custody. James Hodgkinson, an Illinois man, has been identified as the shooter. The 66-year-old man from Belleville may have left his van in the area. President Trump has said Hodgkinson is now dead. A Bernie Sanders supporter, Hodgkinson is not a typical-seeming terrorist but has expressed some anti-republican sentiment.
Florida Representative Ron DeSantis told Fox News that when he was leaving the practice, before the attack, a man approached him. “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there,” DeSantis said it was “a little odd.” It is possible that this was Hodgkinson.
Members of Congress said as they were fired upon, they felt like sitting ducks in the open field. Many were forced to make for cover amid the gunfight. Senator Rand Paul said the Capitol Police made the difference between this morning’s scene and what could have happened.
Illinois Representative Davis has been on the news talking about the importance of cross isle comradery. He says Americans don’t get an accurate picture of the non-partisan nature of Washington. Davis made a call for unity on MSNBC.
The congressional baseball game that was being practiced for, which is a charity game between political leaders that fosters unity and comradeship, will go on.
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