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Story highlights

Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot at a GOP baseball practice Wednesday morning

Scalise is the first sitting member of Congress to be shot since Giffords

Washington CNN —  

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in 2011, tweeted support for the victims and authorities involved in Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot Wednesday morning at a practice for the GOP congressional baseball team. A congressional staffer, a lobbyist and two Capitol Police officers were also shot, and the suspect later died from injuries he sustained after exchanging fire with police at the scene.

“My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day,” Giffords tweeted.

Later Wednesday, Giffords released a statement on the shooting.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer. If you serve the institution of Congress, you’re connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy,” the statement reads.

“May all Americans come together today with prayers for the survivors, love for their friends and family, and the courage to go about everyday making this country its best. Our nation is resilient, and we always come back stronger,” the statement also said.

Scalise is the first sitting member of Congress to be shot since Giffords, who was wounded in a January 2011 attack. Giffords was shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner at a “Congress On Your Corner” event at a Tucson grocery store. Giffords, who authorities said was the main target of the shooting, survived the attack but six others were killed and an additional 12 were injured.

Among those killed in the Tucson shooting were 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, a federal judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona, and Giffords’ director of community outreach.

Loughner pleaded guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Since the shooting, Giffords has become a staunch advocate for greater gun control.