A gunman opened fire on a group of GOP congressmen and aides practicing for a charity baseball game early Wednesday, leaving multiple people wounded.
According to reports, House Whip Steve Scalise (above, insert) was shot in the hip and is in stable condition at the hospital. Four other people were injured as well, including two U.S. Capitol Police officers.
Witnesses say the gunman fired up to 50 times with a rifle before being shot and wounded by Capitol Police.
About 25 GOP members of Congress were on a high school baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia practicing for Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game, a Washington tradition since 1909. The charity game features Democratic House members facing off against Republican House members.
Alexandria Police said that the suspect, described as a white male in his 40s or 50s, is in custody and “not a threat.” The department shared on Twitter:
UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks told CNN that the shooter was behind the dugout when he opened fire and was eventually shot by members of the congressional protective detail.
After being hit, Scalise dragged himself across the field in an attempt to get cover. Senator Jeff Flake and another congressman rushed out to the field and worked to stop the bleeding.
Sen. Rand Paul said he heard the shots from right field and hid behind a tree before hopping a fence to escape. He told CNN “with absolute certainty nobody would have survived” the shooting without Capital officers on hand.
House Dems, who were also practicing for the upcoming charity game on a different Virginia field, prayed for their congressional colleagues after hearing the news:
.@HouseDemocrats praying for our @HouseGOP @SenateGOP baseball colleagues after hearing about the horrific shooting. https://t.co/y2HEUaSuzd pic.twitter.com/6HBrlnxtey
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (@RepKihuen) June 14, 2017
The White House released a statement on the tragedy, saying Donald Trump and Mike Pence are aware of the shooting and “monitoring developments closely.” The statement read:
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol police, first responders, and all others affected.”
So terrifying. We applaud the swiftness of Capitol Police for preventing a tragedy from turning into a complete massacre.