A GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia Wednesday morning was the scene of a shooting in which House Rep. Steve Scalise and several congressional aides were shot by a gunman with a rifle. The incident took place at Simpson Field, which is located about 10 miles away from Washington D.C., according to Fox News reports.
Scalise is in stable condition after being shot in the hip, and five others were “transported medically” from the park where they had been practicing for the annual bi-partisan baseball game, which was scheduled for Thursday night, according to Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown, who noted that it’s not yet known how many people were shot.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have been called to investigate. Witnesses say Rep. Roger Williams, R-Tex. was taken off of the field in a stretcher, as was Scalise.
“Finally the shooter was shot behind home plate as he was circling around to the first base dugout where there were a number of us congressmen and other folks,” Rep. Mo Brooks told reporters. “Our security detail was able to incapacitate him at that point. I don’t know if he [shooter] was dead. He was wounded. I don’t know how many times he was wounded.”
One aide was shot in the leg, so Brooks reportedly stopped the bleeding by using a belt as a tourniquet. Two law enforcement officers were also shot, and one was hit in the leg, Brooks said.
According to Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., he had just left the area and was walking to his car when a man asked him if it was Republicans or Democrats practicing. Minutes later, at approximately 7:15 a.m. shots rang out and could be heard for the next ten minutes.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup told reporters, “I felt like I was in Iraq but without my weapon.”
“Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul stated, calling it a “sort of a killing field.” Sen. Jeff Flake noted that the congressional group were “sitting ducks.”
BREAKING: Sen. Jeff Flake: Gunman in Scalise shooting had `a rifle of some sort … a lot of ammo'
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 14, 2017
Brooks recalled that the gunman used the dugout as cover and popped off up to 100 shots during the attack on the 15-25 people gathered at the field. “Behind third base, I see a rifle…I hear Steve Scalise over near 2nd base scream …While all of this is going on, Steve Scalise our whip was lying on the ground near the second base position crawling into right field, leaving a trail of blood,” he said, noting that cops arrived and returned fire within three minutes.
A vocal Trump supporter, Scalise, 51, is married with two children and was reportedly in good spirits as he went into surgery.
A longstanding tradition since 1909, the Congressional Baseball Game is supposed to take place on June 15 at Nationals Park. The bipartisan game brings Senate and House members of each party together every year.
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