House Majority Whip Scalise remains in critical condition after Alexandria shooting; gunman dead
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others were shot Wednesday morning during an early-morning practice for Thursday's annual Congressional Baseball Game, after a lone gunman armed with a rifle opened fire.
Shots rang out at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, at about 7:10 a.m., according to the FBI. The gunman has since died.
Scalise (R-La.) and three others, including Congressional aide Zachary Barth, former staffer and current Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent Crystal Griner were wounded.
On Thursday morning, Scalise remains in critical condition as does Mika. Griner was in stable condition and Barth, who was shot in the leg, is expected to make a full recovery.
Special Agent David Bailey was not shot but was treated and released after suffering an injury during the incident. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) was injured after diving into the dugout during the incident.
U.S. Capitol Police said officers who were part of Scalise's security detail returned fire, wounding the shooter. The shooter has been identified by the FBI as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.
In an address to the nation late Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump said the gunman had died as a result of his injuries.
Scalise was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he underwent surgery Wednesday morning. Scalise's office said he had been in good spirits before going into surgery, and even called his wife on the phone.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Wednesday night that Scalise remains in critical condition.
The hospital said in a statement, "Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations. We will provide periodic updates."
President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to the hospital where Scalise is being treated. The president and first lady Melania Trump brought two bouquets of white flowers to the hospital, according to the Associated Press. Trump sat by Scalise's bedside and spoke with his family. The president also met with Special Agent Griner and other Capitol Police Officers gathered at the hospital during his visit.
U.S. Capitol Police said Griner was at the hospital in good condition after suffering a gunshot wound to her ankle. U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey was treated and released from the hospital after he was grazed by bullet fragments, according to officials.
Mika, a former congressional aide who now works as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, was shot multiple times and was in critical condition after surgery, according to his family.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Az.) told FOX 5's Bob Barnard that Scalise was on second base fielding ground balls when he was shot by a man standing off the third base side of the field, armed with a rifle.
Flake said Scalise dragged himself a short distance before collapsing on his way to the dugout, along with another staffer who had been shot. Flake described the gunman as having a large amount of ammunition.
"He looked like 40s, maybe 50, dark hair, white with a blue shirt on and I think jeans. My view of him was quick," Flake told FOX 5 in a live interview.
WATCH: Full interview with Sen. Jeff Flake below (app users: click here to watch)
Scalise was hit by a bullet on his hip, according to a statement from his office.
"We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said live on FOX 5. “I cannot imagine him (the shooter) going there for any other reason than to try and kill as many congressmen as he could."
Alexandria police said officers arrived at the scene within three minutes. The FBI was leading the investigation into the shooting and said it was running a trace on two weapons -- a rifle and a handgun. Federal officers were searching Hodgkinson's home in Belleville, according to the FBI.
Scalise, 51, is the No. 3 House Republican leader, and he has a 24-hour security detail. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.
Flake also said Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Tx.) 10-year-old son was at the practice, and he was quickly sheltered in the dugout after shots rang out.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was also at the practice, told Fox News, "We were like sitting ducks."
Rep. Roger Williams (R-Tx.) confirmed that a member of his staff, Zack Barth, was also among those shot. According to a tweet from Williams' official account, Barth is a legislative correspondent.
He was receiving medical attention and was expected to make a full recovery after being shot in the leg. Brooks very vividly told FOX 5 he put a tourniquet on Barth's leg in a dugout after he was hit.
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Barth later tweeted that he was at the hospital, but was OK. He thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
A photographer who has been photographing the Congressional baseball game for decades told FOX 5 he was the first to spot the gunman. He said he was rushed into the dugout by Congressional staffers, but he was not injured.
President Trump tweeted that Scalise is "a true friend and patriot," adding that he expects Scalise to fully recover. The White House canceled President Trump's only scheduled event Wednesday due to the shooting, and instead, he addressed the nation about the shooting.
Wednesday's practice was the last one before Thursday's scheduled annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park. The game, which raises money for charity, dates back to 1909. The official website describes it as "the only annual partisan showdown that is beloved by all and enjoyed by thousands."
House and Senate members join together, and it's Republicans vs. Democrats on the field, with members usually wearing uniforms representatives of the states and districts they represent.
Over the years, it has evolved into a fundraiser for D.C. area charities including The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Tickets are under $20. The official website lists full rosters for both teams. Practice is held every morning at 6:30 am. Rep. Williams has been the Republican team's coach since joining Congress in 2013.
President Trump will not be attending Thursday's game due to security concerns.
After the shooting, a photo tweeted by Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (D-Nv.) showed Democratic members of Congress who were also gathered at the field to practice huddled in a dugout praying for their Republican colleagues.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Cal.) tweeted that the game would go on as planned Thursday, saying, "We will play for charity, but also for the victims and the heroic officers who took down the shooter."