Gunman Opens Fire on GOP Congressional Baseball Team Injuring Five, Including House Whip Steve Scalise
A gunman opened fire on the GOP Congressional Baseball team on Wednesday morning, injuring five people. Among them are two law enforcement officers, a Congressional aide, and Rep. Steve Scalise.
Scalise, the House Majority Whip, was shot in the hip. He underwent surgery at 9:45 a.m. and is in stable condition. Before that he was in good spirits and was able to speak to his wife by phone, according to a statement issued by his office.
The shooting took place at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Police say gunfire was reported at 7:09 a.m., and they arrived within three minutes.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was on deck when the shooting started. He says the shooter, who appeared to be a white male, was behind the third base dugout and fired a semiautomatic rifle.
Fortunately, because Rep. Scalise was there, the practice was being guarded by Capitol Hill Police as well as the Secret service.
“Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police,” Pennsylvania Senator Rand Paul told CNN. “It would have been a massacre without them.”
“Fortunately, Secret Service was here because Steve Scalise was here,” Rep. Wenstrup says on Rep. Scalise’s security detail taking action pic.twitter.com/RhFtHySHSt
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017
Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) echoed Paul’s sentiments.
“If not for the [security] detail who stepped up with basic revolvers, we would’ve all been dead,” he told the New York Times. He said he “Army-crawled” his way to the dugout, but bullets were hitting the dugout as well.
“Ting, ting, ting, ting,” he said, describing the sound of flying bullets. “He was hunting us at that point. There was so much gunfire, you couldn’t get up and run. Pop, pop, pop, pop — it’s a sound I’ll never forget.”
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake says he saw a member of Rep. Scalise’s security detail return fire on the shooter even though he had been shot in the leg.
Bullets from the ball field shattered windows at a nearby YMCA, though it is unclear if anyone there was injured.
Active shooter situation during this mornings trip to the Y. Terrifying. Am ok. Sheltered in place & under lockdown. pic.twitter.com/iJs6fZpjiK
— Joseph Miscavige (@JoeMiscavige) June 14, 2017
Former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed in 2011, issued a statement on the horrifying events in Virginia via Twitter:
My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) June 14, 2017
So did President Trump:
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2017
The GOP Congressional Baseball team was practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. A longstanding tradition, the game has been played every year since 1909. This year’s event had been scheduled to take place this Thursday at Nationals Park. However, is unclear at this point whether the game will go on as scheduled.