GOP baseball shooting: Rep. Scalise remains in critical conditio - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

GOP baseball shooting: Rep. Scalise remains in critical condition, needs further surgery

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting near a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot at a Congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting near a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot at a Congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Shots were fired during a GOP lawmakers baseball practice Wednesday in Alexandria, VA. (Source: CNN) Shots were fired during a GOP lawmakers baseball practice Wednesday in Alexandria, VA. (Source: CNN)
The FBI is seeking information about the shooter. If you have a tip, call 1-800-CALL-FBI. (Source: FBI) The FBI is seeking information about the shooter. If you have a tip, call 1-800-CALL-FBI. (Source: FBI)
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, was among multiple people shot at a baseball practice for GOP lawmakers and staff Wednesday in Alexandria, VA. (Source: House.gov) House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, was among multiple people shot at a baseball practice for GOP lawmakers and staff Wednesday in Alexandria, VA. (Source: House.gov)
James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, IL, is the suspected shooter who opened fire at a GOP lawmakers' baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, on Wednesday. (Source: Facebook) James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, IL, is the suspected shooter who opened fire at a GOP lawmakers' baseball practice in Alexandria, VA, on Wednesday. (Source: Facebook)

ALEXANDRIA, VA (RNN) - The hospital attending to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said he was "critically injured" in the shooting at a baseball practice Wednesday for GOP lawmakers preparing for a charity game.

Scalise was one of five shooting victims - which include the shooter - and had surgery to repair a gunshot wound to his hip. 

The bullet that stuck him traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding, the hospital said in a statement. Scalise received multiple units of blood and his injuries will require further operations, it confirmed. 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the hospital where he was being treated Wednesday night. 

"Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault," Trump said in a statement provided by the White House.  

FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Slater clarified the number of injuries in a late afternoon news conference. Those who were shot are Scalise, lobbyist Matt Mika, Congressional staffer Zach Barth and Capitol Police officer Krystal Griner who was shot in the ankle.

Another congressman and a Capitol Police officer David Bailey were injured in the course of action. Slater did not state which congressman representative he was referring to, however, Rep. Roger Williams, R-TX, hurt his ankle fleeing from gunfire, was taken away on a stretcher, and gave a news conference on crutches.

Mika, the Director of Government Relations for Tyson Foods, is also in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital according to KUAR, which cited former Michigan Congressman David Palsrok and Mika's parents as sources. Mika was shot in the chest.

Slater also said the shooter has been in the Alexandria area since March. Agents are searching his home in Belleville, IL, and Alexandria police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives swept his car at the baseball field parking lot. The shooter had one handgun and one rifle on him.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-SC, said he spoke with a man before the shooting who asked "if the team practicing was a Democrat or Republican Team." 

"I told them they were Republicans. He said, 'OK, thanks' and turned around." 

The Congressional baseball game will not be canceled. It will be broadcast live on CSPAN Thursday. The gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the first pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump said during a national news conference that the shooter died from his injuries.

Trump refused to say the name of the alleged gunman, identified by law enforcement as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson from Belleville, IL. Pro-Bernie Sanders and anti-Trump posts are featured on his Facebook page. He also wrote several politically charged letters to an Illinois newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat.

Capitol Police officers, part of Scalise's security detail as a member of House leadership, were injured in the shooting. They have been identified as  Griner and Bailey, and they have been credited with preventing the attack from being far worse.

House Speaker Paul Ryan identified and thanked Bailey and Griner for their bravery, in an address on the House floor.

"We are united," he said to House members. "We are united in our shock and anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

Williams, R-TX, said Barth, a legislative correspondent in his office, was among the people who were shot, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, also sustained injuries. Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson told the AP that Mika was taken to a hospital, and they are waiting on word of his condition. 

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-SC, and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, said they were at the field before the shooting and briefly spoke to the suspected shooter. They said the man asked if it was the Republicans or Democrats practicing, and they told him it was Republicans. 

According to the Washington Post, Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, but the charges were dismissed. His wife told ABC News that he had been living in Alexandria for a couple of months.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the suspect owned a home inspection business, but the business license expired last year.

Videos claiming to be recorded during the shooting have started to appear online. WARNING: Content may be disturbing to viewers.

Scalise's office released a statement on his behalf on his official Twitter.

"Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone," stated the office representative. "He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders and colleagues."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now heading up the investigation because members of Congress were involved in the shooting. FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Slater would not comment on if the Republican lawmakers were specifically targeted, if the shooting was domestic terrorism, or on what is the motive of the shooter.

The Associated Press reported the ATF was tracing a rifle and a handgun involved in the shooting to find where they were purchased. Congressman Mo Brooks, R-AL, said they were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game with Democratic lawmakers, when "50 to 100 shots were fired."

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said officers responded within minutes, and they are collaborating with Capitol police, Virginia State Police and the FBI.

"Police received fire from the suspect and returned fire," Brown said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a statement on the Senate floor. He said he learned the suspect volunteered for his presidential campaign, and he is sickened by the "despicable act."

He hopes and prays for the victims to make a complete recovery and thanks Capitol Police for their action.

"Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms," Sanders said. "Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held beliefs."

Karoline Hutson, public relations manager for George Washington Hospital, told Washington Post that two people from the shooting were there in critical condition. 

Brooks said he was in the on-deck circle when the first shots were fired, and he and others took cover in one of the dugouts. He said the shooter was "taken down."

"Once we got the all-clear that the shooter was down, we ran out to second base for Steve Scalise," Brooks said. "He had crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood. And we started giving him some liquids; I put pressure on his wound in his hip.

"Brad Wenstrup, a congressman from Ohio … fortunately, he's a physician. He started doing what you need to do to try to minimize the blood loss."

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said at least one kid, Rep. Joe Barton's 10-year-old son, was at the field. The child was unharmed.

"I got Steve Scalise's phone and called his wife," Flake said. "I just didn't want her to wake up and hear the news and not know what was going on."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, said on Twitter that he was there and "shaken but unharmed."

"Many people likely would have died this morning if not for the bravery of the Capitol Police," he said in a statement. "My thanks to them are inadequate but heartfelt. They never hesitated to put their lives on the line to save everyone. Please pray for all those who were injured."

House votes have been canceled for the day, said Rep. Dave Brat, R-VA. There was increased security outside the U.S. Capitol after the shooting, with more officers guarding the East Front with long weapons. Tourists were still participating in scheduled tours.

Gabby Giffords, a former U.S. representative who was shot by an attacker in 2011, called the shooting an attack on all who serve or participate in "our democracy." She said she is heartbroken for the victims, their families and all who had to endure the attack. 

"May all Americans come together today with prayers for the survivors, love for their friends and family, and the courage to go about every day making this country its best," she said in a statement. "Our nation is resilient, and we always come back stronger."

The full roster of the GOP baseball team, according to the Congressional Baseball website: 

  • Joe Barton TX-06
  • Jack Bergman MI-1
  • Mike Bishop MI-08
  • Kevin Brady TX-08
  • Mo Brooks AL-05
  • Mike Conaway TX-11
  • Ryan Costello PA-07
  • Rodney Davis IL-13
  • Ron Desantis FL-6
  • Jeff Duncan SC-03
  • Jeff Flake AZ
  • Chuck Fleischmann TN-03
  • Matt Gaetz FL-01
  • Bill Johnson OH-06
  • Trent Kelly MS-01
  • Darren LaHood IL-18
  • Doug LaMalfa CA-01
  • Barry Loudermilk GA-11
  • Roger Marshall KS-1
  • Pat Meehan PA-07
  • John Moolenaar MI-04
  • Steve Palazzo MS-04
  • Gary Palmer AL-06
  • Rand Paul KY
  • Erik Paulsen MN-03
  • Steve Pearce NM-02
  • Thomas Rooney FL-17
  • Dennis Ross FL-15
  • Steve Scalise LA-01
  • John Shimkus IL-15
  • Mark Walker NC-06
  • Brad Wenstrup OH-02
  • Roger Williams TX-25
  • Kevin Yoder KS-03

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-NY, said she received a threatening email after the shooting. The email subject, she said, read "One down, 216 to go." 

According to the Associated Press, 217 people voted for the bill to replace Barack Obama's signature healthcare bill, which the email writer possibly referenced. 

Tenney sent the email to Capitol Police. 

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