President Donald Trump visited Rep. Steve Scalise in the hospital
Gunman was identified as James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois
Rep. Steve Scalise, a member of the Republican baseball team, was hospitalized Wednesday after a gunman opened fired while Republican members of Congress were practicing Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia ahead of the annual charity baseball game.
Federal law enforcement officials identified the alleged shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, who died following a shootout with authorities.
At least six people including Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, were hospitalized.
Medics say a bullet traveled across Scalise’s pelvis, breaking bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding.
“Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” MedStar said in a statement put out by Scalise’s office. “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.”
A congressional staffer, Zach Barth, was also shot in the leg and has since been released from the hospital.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said two members of the Capitol Police – Crystal Griner and David Bailey – were injured Wednesday.
In a statement, Capitol Police said Griner was in “good condition in the hospital having been shot in the ankle,” and Bailey “was treated and released having sustained a minor injury during the incident.”
Trump made a surprise visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center around sunset Wednesday.
He sat next to Scalise’s bed and spoke with the congressman’s family, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. He also spoke with Griner and her wife, as well as hospital doctors.
A senior administration official said the mood inside the hospital was somber during Trump’s visit, which came hours after Scalise emerged from surgery still in critical condition after suffering a single rifle shot to his hip.
Rep. Roger Williams, a Texas Republican whom Barth works for, was also hospitalized and released with an injury to his leg.
Lawmakers described a chaotic scene during the shooting. Many members of the congressional GOP baseball team were huddled in a dugout while Capitol police – who were part of Scalise’s security detail – and local Alexandria police engaged in a shootout with Hodgkinson. Congressional and law enforcement sources described it as a “deliberate attack.”
Traces were still being done on the two firearms recovered at the scene – an SKS rifle and a 9 mm pistol on Wednesday, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
House Republican and Democratic leaders called for unity, while President Donald Trump said in an address from the White House that the prayers of the nation and world are with Scalise.
“Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend,” Trump said. “He’s a patriot. And he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault – and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.”
Ryan condemned the shooting and praised the Capitol Police on the House floor later Wednesday.
“We are united. We are united in our shock. We are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Ryan said, drawing a bipartisan standing ovation.
Members practicing for traditional baseball game
Members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game that was scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, said the game will still go on as scheduled. The annual game has been played since 1909, and McSally said lawmakers applauded the announcement at an all-members meeting.