Gunman wounds GOP congressman, then killed by police

Carla Harmon
June 15, 2017

An FBI press release Wednesday afternoon identified the shooter as James Hodgkinson, 66.

Trump praised the "heroic actions" of the Capital Police at the scene.

"We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good", said the president.

Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were shot Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, in what sources are calling an apparent "deliberate attack".

He remains in critical condition following initial surgery and blood transfusions, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in an update late Wednesday.

Matt Mika has worked as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods for more than six years, the company said.

"He will require additional operations". Several other people - including staffers and Capitol police - were also wounded, officials said.

On the Senate side, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer skipped their usual partisan opening speeches, and instead admonished the horrific attack and thanked the Capitol Police officers who saved lives on the field.

Two congressman said they had sustained minor injuries while trying to take cover.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump called for unity across party lines during a subdued statement from the White House.

Officials say Hodgkinson was carrying an assault weapon similar to an M-4 and a handgun.

"50 (shots) would be an understatement, I'm quite sure", Flake said when asked about the total amount of gunfire, including police returning fire.

Sanders swiftly responded to reports that the suspect had volunteered on his presidential campaign.

"I am sickened by this despicable act", he said.

"Let me be as clear as I can be".

Sen. Flake was on the field for final practice before the charity baseball game, which is still scheduled for Thursday. "Someone tried to run Rep. (David) Kustoff off the road with her auto, and now a man seemingly attempted to assassinate several members of Congress at a baseball practice", said Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La. Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton, the manager of the Republicans' team, recalled in an emotional news conference that his son was "at practice this morning, and he had 25 dads".

Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, appeared to have been shot in the hip and it appeared two Capitol Hill police agents were shot, according to Rep. Mo Brooks, who told CNN he was on deck when the shooting occurred. The team was taking batting practice when a gunshot rang out and chaos erupted, lawmakers on the scene said.

"He was dragging his body from the second base infield to the outfield to get away from the shooter while all this firing was going on", he said.

"Somebody from the baseball team starting screaming, and I heard really, really loud pops very close to me. The next thing I remember was somebody on the field yelling, 'Run, he's got a gun'".

Capitol Police officers who were in his security detail had wounded the shooter. The gunman was taken into custody and later died of his injuries. "My colleagues were targeted today by someone that wanted to kill them".

Scalise is undergoing surgery at a Washington, D.C., hospital.

The conservative from the southern state of Louisiana is a firm supporter of U.S. gun rights.

Gun control groups are fighting federal legislation that would relax existing gun laws, especially after Republicans backed by the NRA fared well in last November's elections.

Several Democrats were practicing at a different field when they heard the news, and immediately gathered to pray for their wounded colleague.

"I reject bigotry of all forms", Scalise said then.

Other reports by iNewsToday