What we know about the congressional baseball shooting – ABC News
Rep. Steve Scalise was in critical condition as of late Wednesday night, after suffering severe injuries from a gunshot wound when a gunman opened fire on Republicans practicing in Virginia Wednesday morning for a congressional baseball game.
The House majority whip and Louisiana Republican was rushed to a Washington trauma center Wednesday with fractured bones and internal organ damage, according to hospital officials.
He is suffering from a rifle shot to the left hip and severe blood loss, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which said Wednesday night that he required “immediate surgery” and multiple units of blood for a transfusion.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at the hospital with flowers Wednesday evening where Trump sat by Scalise’s bedside and met with his wife Jennifer, as well as Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, who was also wounded in the attack, and her wife.
Trump tweeted, “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”
Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
Earlier in the day, Trump said in a televised statement that “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 added, “We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because above all, they love our country.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on the House floor Wednesday afternoon, “We are united in our shock. We are united in our anguish and attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Scalise is in critical condition after he and several others were shot at about 7 a.m. Wednesday at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, where a number of lawmakers were practicing for the annual charity congressional baseball game set to take place today.
Lobbyist Matt Mika, congressional staffer Zack Barth and Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner were also shot.
Mika, a former college baseball and football player who was helping with practice, was listed in critical condition late Wednesday, his family said.
Barth, a legislative correspondent working for Texas Rep. Roger Williams who was helping them prepare for the game, was treated and released from the hospital.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said Griner was shot in the ankle and is in good condition.
Additionally, two individuals — Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, and a Capitol Police officer — sustained minor secondary injuries.
Williams was emotional at a news conference this afternoon, saying the Capitol police officers prevented what “could have easily been 25 deaths or more.”
This evening’s baseball game will go on as scheduled.
The alleged assailant
The suspected shooter, later identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was killed in a shootout with police. The immediate motive for the shooting has not been fully fleshed out, but Hodgkinson had reportedly expressed strident anti-Republican views on social media and directed particular ire at Trump after he became president.
Hodgkinson was also a one-time volunteer for Bernie Sanders‘ campaign for president last year. Sanders on Wednesday unequivocally repudiated Hodgkinson’s actions and decried his use of violence.
Hodgkinson’s wife told ABC News Wednesday that he had been living in Alexandria for the past two months, had not been working and that he was supposed to return home in the coming days.
The FBI released a “Seeking Information” poster late Wednesday asking the public for any information regarding the suspect. Authorities believe Hodgkinson had been in the Washington, D.C., area since March and living out of a white cargo van.
Police said they were investigating the vehicle, as well as his electronic devices, with hopes of gathering more information about him.
Mark Kern, the former mayor of Belleville, Illinois, told ABC News Wednesday that Hodgkinson was fired from a county contract to remove lead from community buildings in 2003 after he was found rummaging through desks, looking for a check.