Republican congressman shot at baseball practice

Republican congressman shot at baseball practice

By Kevin Payne

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and multiple others were shot and seriously injured at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia today.

A Gunman believed to be a supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders began spraying bullets at a baseball practice field in Alexandria, Va. Where Republican congressman were practicing for a charity game.  Congressman Scalise and four others were wounded before U.S. Capitol Police took down the shooter.

Scalise, 51, is the House Majority Whip. He has represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District since 2008 and chairs the House Republican Study Committee. He is married with two children. Scalise's district includes New Orleans.

Scalise’s office confirmed that the congressman was in good spirits and had spoken to his wife before undergoing surgery after being shot in the hip.

“He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,” the office said.  “We ask that you keep the congressman and others that were wounded in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”

The shooter, identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, had a history of violence including arrests for battery, resisting arrest, and drunken driving.  Fox News reported that Mr. Hodgkinson died from injuries sustained after being shot by police.

Rev. Dr. Bob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council and Civilian Chaplin with the U.S. Senate Emergency Response Team stated, “At times like this the greatest contribution any of us can make is to surround victims and loved ones with our prayers.”  Rev. Schenk went on to say, “This is a tragic reminder that we must all work, pray, and hope for an end to the violence and hatred that undermines what our great nation stands for.”

The GOP lawmakers were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which was set to take place Thursday night.  The game, which has been a tradition since 1909, pits Senate and House members of each party who sport the uniform of their home state.

Congressional leaders said the game would go on as planned.

Photo: In this March 8, 2017 file photo, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Scalise was shot Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., congressional officials say. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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