LIVE UPDATES: Top Republican Shot In VA By Gunman Armed With Rifle; Others Reportedly Wounded
UPDATE 11:59 a.m. -- President Trump says the shooter, identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, has died of his injuries.
UPDATE 10:49 a.m. -- The Washington Post ID's shooter.
Shooter identified by law enforcement officials as James T. Hodgkinson
The shooter at the GOP congressional baseball practice this morning is James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., according to law enforcement officials. Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business. His home inspection license expired in November 2016 and was not renewed, state records show.
Hodgkinson was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle, according to online records in St. Clair County, Illinois. The charges were dismissed, records show.
UPDATE 10:46 a.m. -- Capitol Hill Police Chief Matthew Verderosa says officers who were injured in the shooting "are in good condition.”
UPDATE 10:43 a.m. -- "Too early to say," if shooting was a terrorist attack, says Tim Slater, lead FBI investigator.
"No, it's not an assassination attempt. ... We are not sure at this moment."
Slater would not confirm is shooter was foreign. "Not aware what he looks like."
"Not aware" if political motivation was a factor.
Fact that armed detail was on site "made a significant difference."
UPDATE 10:35 a.m. -- From Michael Brown, chief of Alexandria Police Department:
First 911 call came in at 7:09 a.m. Police were there in three minutes and returned fire immediately.
Five wounded people were transported to "deal with a variety of injuries."
UPDATE 10:21 a.m. -- Rep. Mo Brooks, who was at the GOP congressional baseball team practice when the shooting occurred, was asked "the inevitable gun control question." Here's what he said:
UPDATE 10:17 a.m. -- "LEFT-WING TWITTER CELEBRATES SHOOTING OF REP. SCALISE," Grabien reports.
No sooner had news come in that a gunman shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) were left-wing Twitter users celebrating the attack -- in which two Capitol Police were also shot, as well as a congressional staffer, and possibly more.
Activist and media personality, Tariq Nasheed, appeared to indicate support for the shooting on Twitter:
UPDATE 10:08 a.m. -- Tweet via Fox News shows House Democrats praying for victims of Alexandria shooting.
UPDATE 10:01 a.m. -- "He was hunting us," Rep. Mike Bishop tells The New York Times.
“If not for the detail who stepped up with basic revolvers, we would’ve all been dead,” he said, referring to members of the security team. He said he “Army-crawled” his way to taller grass and tried to reach the dugout, but bullets were hitting the dugout as well.
“Ting, ting, ting, ting,” he said, describing the noise. “He was hunting us at that point. There was so much gunfire, you couldn’t get up and run. Pop, pop, pop, pop — it’s a sound I’ll never forget.”
UPDATE 9:53 a.m. -- An update on Rep. Steve Scalise's condition:
UPDATE 9:39 a.m. -- "Rep. Mo Brooks Gives Harrowing Account of Shooting of GOP Lawmaker at Congressional Baseball Practice," via Independent Journal Review.
I was on deck about to hit batting practice on the third base side of home plate and I hear a loud bam, I look around and behind third base in the third base dug out, which is cinder block, I see a rifle. And I see a little bit of a body and then I hear another blam and I realize there is an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise over near second base scream. He was shot. He's our majority whip.
The gun was a semiautomatic. It continues to fire at different people. You can imagine all the people in the field scatter. I run around to the first base side of home plate and we have a batting cage that's got plastic wrapped around it to stop foul balls, and hide behind the plastic. You know that plastic's not real good. I was lying on the ground with two or three others as gunfire continues. I heard a break in the gunfire and decided to take a chance. Ran from home plate to the first base dugout, which is also cinder block and down about two or three feet so you have better cover. There were a number of congressmen and congressional staffers who help us lying on the ground.
One of them was wounded in the leg. Took off my belt and myself and myself and another congressman applied a tourniquet to try to slow down the bleeding. In the meantime, I'm towards the right field side of the dugout and there is gunfire within about five or six, seven feet to my head. I look up and there's a guy with a gun blasting away, Fortunately, it was one of the good guys — one of our security detail who was shooting back. Of course, it was pistol versus rifle — our pistols versus the shooters rifle — along the third baseline just outside the chain link fence and he was ordering us to stay down.
UPDATE 9:34 a.m. -- Senators give gripping accounts of shooting, via Politico:
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said members of Scalise’s security detail were also shot.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) described on CNN how Scalise was wounded in the shooting. “He’d crawled into the outfield but leaving a trail of blood. We started giving him some liquids,” said Brooks, who was not hit.
Sen. Rand Paul vividly recounted the scene, and gave great credit to law enforcement for containing the situation.
"Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police," Paul said on CNN. "He was just killing everyone — he would've. It would have been a massacre."
“And having no self-defense, the … field was basically a killing field. If you were to run out while the killer was still shooting, he could have shot anybody."
UPDATE 9: 29 a.m. -- Despite reports, Rep. Roger Williams was not among those shot during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., this morning. But one of his staff members was.
UPDATE 9:22 a.m. -- The Week reports: "Shortly after the shooting Wednesday morning at a congressional baseball practice, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) told NBC News that it appeared the 'gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.' "
UPDATE 9:20 a.m. -- US CAPITOL POLICE SAY THEY HAVE 'ROBUST POLICE PRESENCE' AROUND CAPITOL, BUILDING STILL OPEN AFTER VIRGINIA SHOOTING
WASHINGTON (AP) -- US Capitol Police say they have 'robust police presence' around Capitol, building still open after Virginia shooting.
UPDATE 8:59 a.m. -- Police Chief Michael Brown of the Alexandria police says: Two officers from the Capitol Police engaged the shooter. Five people were transported to the hospital. "There's no additional threat." The FBI is on the scene. There will be a press conference at 10:30.
UPDATE: 8:53 a.m. -- A gunman has shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Roger Williams, along with several congressional aides, at a GOP baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.
Fox News reports the gunman was shot by U.S. Capital Police, apprehended and taken to the hospital, officials said. But Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News that the gunman was dead.
A shooting at a congressional baseball game practice field in Alexandria, Va., has left at least one lawmaker wounded, according to breaking reports.
The gunman fired as many as 50 shots. It was unclear what happened to the shooter; some reports say he is in custody, others that he was shot on site.
As many as five people, including the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican leader, were shot at a GOP congressional baseball practice shortly after 7 a.m. by the gunman, who reportedly ducked behind the dugout as he sprayed the players on the field with bullets. Two sources told NBC News that at least one Capitol Police officer was also shot.
Sen. Rand Paul on MSNBC said, "Everybody would've died except for the fact that Capitol Hill police were there."
According to Fox News:
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and at least one other aide was also hit in the chest by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.
Police tweeted they "believed" the gunman was in custody. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was dead. He said a staffer used a belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise's bleeding.
"Both @POTUS & @VP are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.
The shots were reported on East Monroe Street in Del Ray, Alexandria police said on Twitter at 7:30 a.m. The location was near a YMCA.
Scalise, 51, is the House majority whip. He has represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District since 2008 and chairs the House Republican Study Committee. He is married with two children. Scalise's district includes New Orleans.
Rep. Ron DeSantis said he was asked, “Are those Republicans or Democrats out there practicing?”
Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop told WWJ Newsradio 950 that he and his colleagues were “sitting ducks.”
“As we were standing here this morning, a gunman walked up to the fence line and just began to shoot. I was standing at home plate and he was in the third base line,” Bishop said. “He had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out, multiple casualties, and he had several rounds and magazines that he kept unloading and reloading.”
More than 50 shots were fired, according to CBS News. Multiple people were injured, including two Capitol Hill police officers and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
“The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. We were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit — every single one of us,” said Bishop. “He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank.”
NBC News in Washington had more details.
Witnesses described hearing Scalise "screaming for help" after the gunman shot his security detail.
“Scalise was on second base, and was crawling out, leaving trail of blood,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., in an interview on CNN.
He was helped by other members of Congress, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. He "started doing what you need to do to stop the blood loss,” Brooks said.
Twitter exploded with reports of the shooting.
One witness said some 50 shots were fired.