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UPDATE | Scalise in critical condition after surgery; gunman dead


Published: Wed, June 14, 2017 @ 11:44 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Washington hospital says U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise shot during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., this morning is in critical condition after surgery.

MedStar Washington said in a tweet this afternoon that Scalise "was critically injured and remains in critical condition." It provided no further details about him.

Scalise was among several people wounded when a rifle-wielding attacker fired on Republican lawmakers on a baseball field in Alexandria, outside Washington. The attacker was shot and later died.

The hospital said another victim of the shooting is in good condition. It did not identify the victim.

President Donald Trump praised the heroism of Capitol Police in taking down the gunman who wounded House Majority Whip on Scalise of Louisiana and several others.

The president said the gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Illinois, died of the wounds he received from Capitol Police.

The president said he and first lady Melania Trump are praying for the recovery of all the victims. Trump also praised first responders for their swift action, including those from Alexandria.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said several other people also were hit, including two law enforcement officers.

Brooks said that Scalise, 51, was down on the ground with what Brooks described as “a hip wound.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, was at the baseball field where Scalise was shot during the practice this morning, Johnson's Chief of Staff, Mike Smullen, told 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator's broadcast partner.

Smullen said Johnson had left the practice just before the shooting and was not injured.

Ben Keeler, Johnson's spokesman, added this is Johnson's sixth year on the team, and that the annual baseball game between Republicans and Democrats is a charity fundraiser.

Brooks told CNN that several Republican members of congress – both U.S. representatives and U.S. senators – and staffers were at practice at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park when shots rang out from behind a concrete-block dugout. Security detail and local police apparently apprehended the gunman, Brooks said.

Brooks said the gunman appeared to be a middle-aged white male.

Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., said Scalise was standing on second base when he was shot.

“I was looking right at him,” Bishop told Detroit radio station WWJ. “He was a sitting duck.”

Scalise is the No. 3 House Republican leader. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.

Rep. Jeff Duncan said in a statement that he was at the practice and “saw the shooter.”

“Please pray for my colleagues,” Duncan said.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle took to social media to decry the shooting.

"Prayers and thoughts are with the victims of today 's shooting," Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said on Facebook. "This is madness."

"Jane & I send our thoughts & prayers to @SteveScalise, the @CapitolPolice & all those affected this morning" tweeted U.S. Sen Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

"My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day," tweeted former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, herself shot by a gunman in 2011.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan took to Twitter to say, "My prayers are going to @SteveScalise, staff, and Capitol Police officers who were involved with this horrible incident this morning."

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, said in a statement: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy this morning in Alexandria. I played in the charity game when I was in Congress and attended many baseball practices, so my heart goes out to everyone who was involved in the practice. Rep. Scalise and I came into Congress together and played in this game against one another. I pray for his health and speedy recovery.”


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