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House Leader Steve Scalise, Others Shot at Congressional Baseball Practice

Variety logo Variety 6/14/2017 Seth Kelley
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House of Representatives majority whip Steve Scalise was among those injured when a gunman opened fire in Alexandria, Va on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The shooting took place during a practice for the GOP congressional baseball team.

The shooter, who is in police custody, was taken to a hospital. Authorities identified the shooter as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Ill., first reported by the Washington Post. President Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning that the alleged shooter “has now died from his injuries.”

Two Capitol Hill police agents were also reportedly shot, and five people total, including the gunman were hospitalized. Scalise’s office released a statement that said he is “undergoing surgery” and “in stable condition.”

Trump initially responded to the event with a tweet. “Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him,” he wrote.

Scalise represents the First Congressional District of Louisiana, which includes a small portion of New Orleans, and most of its western suburbs.

Senator Jeff Flake, who was at the practice, recounted the scene to ABC News. “I wanted to get to Steve Scalise, laying out there in the field, but while there were bullets flying overhead, I couldn’t,” he said, adding that the shooting went on for “ten minutes, at least.”

Politicians and celebrities tweeted support for Scalise and the others who were injured in what is being described as a deliberate attack.

Speaker Paul Ryan addressed the House saying, “We are united in our shock, united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords called for the nation to “come together.” Giffords was shot in the head during a meeting with constituents in 2011. The incident left her and a dozen others wounded, and six people were killed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “We are shocked by such an incident in our peaceful community.”

Bernie Sanders addressed details that emerged that the suspected shooter volunteered on the Vermont senator’s 2016 presidential campaign. “I am sickened by this despicable act,” Sanders said. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

“Prayers and thoughts in Alexandria, with Steve Scalise and his family, and all affected. Horrible,” Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote.

George Takei wrote, “The shooting in Alexandria this AM was a senseless horrific act. My thoughts are with Rep. Scalise, the Capitol Police & all those impacted.”

“Horrific,” wrote Senator Kamala Harris. “Praying for Steve Scalise, congressional staffers & Capitol Police who were shot in Virginia.”

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