Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA 1st) and four others were shot this morning at a Republican baseball team practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
A single shooter carrying a rifle entered Eugene Simpson Stadium Park and opened fire. Scalise was shot in the hip and was seriously injured, but is in stable condition. Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent for Representative Roger Williams (R-TX 25th), and Matt Mika, Director – Government Relations at Tyson Foods, were also injured. Special Agent David Bailey and Special Agent Krystal Griner of the Capitol Police, who were serving as Scalise’s security detail, immediately engaged in a gunfight with the attacker and were injured. None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening, although Mika, the most seriously injured, is currently listed in critical condition.
Law enforcement officials have identified the shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois. He was shot by police and later died of his injuries.
Representatives Jeff Duncan (R-SC 3rd) and Ron DeSantis (R-FL 6th), who left the practice early, reported that the shooter asked them whether Republicans or Democrats were playing. They told him that it was a Republican practice. Shortly after Duncan and DeSantis left, Hodgkinson began his attack. Hodgkinson’s social media posts indicate that he was a strong supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. He had recently commented on a Change.org petition, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” [sic]. Sanders strongly condemned the attack and all political violence.
The Republican baseball team was practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, which has been held annually since 1909. It is friendly competition between teams of Republican and Democratic congressmen, and the proceeds benefit charitable organizations. The game is scheduled to be held tomorrow. Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ 2nd) has announced that the game will go on as scheduled.