This is a developing story. Stay with this post for up to date information. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been shot along with two police officers and a congressional aide during the GOP Congressional Baseball Team’s morning practice.
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According to a report from Whip Steve Scalise’s office, he is currently in surgery at an area hospital and is in stable condition. The congressman is said to be in good spirits.
However, it is now emerging that this might have been a highly targeted attack. Appearing on Fox News this morning, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said:
“[A]s I was getting into the car with one of my colleagues, Jeff Duncan, there was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether there was Republicans or Democrats out there,” he said. “And it was just a little odd and then he kind of walked toward the area where all this happened.”
It would appear that this may have been a highly targeted attack on GOP lawmakers.
Police have a tentative identification on the suspect, but are not releasing the information publicly yet. The shooter’s medical condition is currently unknown.
Source have told news organizations that the shooting was a deliberate attack on congressional leaders.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was among the congressman at the practice. Rep Brad Wenstrup, who is a physician and Iraq War veteran, was on the scene as well and used a belt as a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding of one of the wounded.
According to television reports from Fox News, the shooter reportedly asked if it was the Republicans or Democrats who were practicing this morning.
Brooks also said in an interview that the suspect was using a rifle and fired at least 50 rounds during the shooting. Congressional police on the scene reportedly engaged the shooter with their service pistols. Brooks said the officers showed extreme bravery engaging and neutralizing the suspect.
The incident and exchange of gunfire between the Capital Police and the shooter reportedly lasted around ten minutes. Scalise was laying wounded, alone, on the field during the entire incident.
According to CNN:
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake added that he saw a member of Scalise’s security detail return fire on the gunman for what felt like 10 minutes, even though the police officer was wounded in the leg.
“50 (shots) would be an understatement, I’m quite sure,” Flake said when asked about the total amount of gunfire, including police returning fire.
Flake said two members of Scalise’s security detail were wounded, and another man was wounded in the chest.
The gunman is reportedly in custody, but his medical condition is unknown.
President Trump is aware of the situation and the White House has already released a statement on the incident.
“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”
The congressional baseball game is a bipartisan event that raises over half a million dollars for charity.