Gunman Shoots Congressman Steve Scalise, Police at Virginia Baseball Practice
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among at least four people wounded Wednesday morning when a gunman sprayed bullets during a congressional baseball practice at an Alexandria, Virginia, park.
The Republican lawmaker was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., where he was in stable condition and undergoing surgery. Scalise was wounded in the hip.
"Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone," Scalise's office said in a statement. "He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues."
Two Capitol Police officers were also wounded and their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
A statement from Congressman Roger Williams' office said the Texas Republican was not wounded, but a member of his staff was shot and taken to the hospital. "Please keep the member of my staff and all members of the congressional baseball team in your thoughts and prayers," Williams tweeted.
Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said five people were taken to local hospitals, including the suspect, following the shooting, which began shortly after 7 a.m. Brown declined to give conditions or identify the victims.
A spokeswoman for George Washington Hospital said two patients were brought to the facility and listed in critical condition, but declined further comment.
Brown said officers at the scene returned gunfire with the suspect, who was eventually taken into custody and is no longer a threat.
'"It's an active scene. We're having a lot of people to interview," Brown said.
Both Democratic and GOP members of the House and Senate have been using the baseball field each morning in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood in preparation for a bipartisan game scheduled for Thursday. The Democrats had reportedly practiced earlier in the morning.
Sen. Rand Paul, who was at the batting cages at the field, told MSNBC that Scalise as a House leader always has Capitol Police with him as security detail. Scalise has represented Louisiana's 1st District since 2008. It was not immediately clear if the wounded officer was part of Scalise's detail.
"There was a rapid succession of shots, you know five or 10 shots," Paul said. "In the field, I see Representative Scalise is shot but moving, and he’s trying to drag himself through the dirt and out into the outfield."
"I probably heard 50-60 shots," Rand added. "Then finally we heard the response from the Capitol Hill police."
Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said he ran out to put pressure on Scalise's wound with a jersey.
"He was coherent. He was asking for water," Flake said of his colleague. "He was bleeding quite a bit."
He described the shooter as possibly being in his 40s, with dark hair and wearing a blue shirt.
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