Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), the House Majority Whip, was shot in the hip at an early-morning practice of the Republican team for the Congressional baseball game set for tomorrow night. The shooter has not been identified, but was also hit in the 10-minute gun battle with Scalise’s security detail and officers of the Alexandria, Virginia police department that followed.
Scalise was hospitalized and is reportedly in stable condition.
There were some 15-20 members of Congress at the practice. Scalise was playing second base for the Republican team and was taking infield when the shooting began. The shooter was reportedly firing from the fence line of the baseball park in Alexandria, near the third base line, lending the potential that Scalise may have been specifically targeted. Rep. Trent Kelly, who was playing third base, and Rep. Gary Palmer, who was at shortstop, were closer to the shooter than Scalise was.
A Scalise aide and a Capitol Police officer were reportedly also hit, the Scalise aide in the chest and the policewoman in the lower leg. Rep. Roger Williams was also injured as he slid into a dugout attempting to avoid the gunfire. Williams reportedly broke his ankle. One of Williams’ staff members was reportedly also shot.
As a member of House leadership, Scalise carries a security detail of two Capitol police officers. Alexandria police were reportedly on the scene within three minutes
Witnesses say some 50 shots were fired, as the shooter had what Sen. Rand Paul, who was also on the scene, called an AR-15 style weapon. Rep. Brad Wenstrop, who had served as an Army medic in Iraq and was the first to tend to Scalise when the shooting died down, said it was a 10-minute barrage of shots including the shooter reloading several times, and ultimately also used a pistol. Rep, Mo Brooks said Scalise dragged himself 15 yards, leaving a blood trail, from the infield dirt near second base into the outfield to get away from the shooter, as the firing continued.
The police ultimately took the shooter down, and he was also hospitalized. Five people in total were hit.
The shooter has not been identified, but Rep. Ron DeSantis related to Fox News a frightening encounter he had with an individual matching the shooter’s description. DeSantis said he left the practice early, but on his way out he was approached by a man asking whether there were Republicans or Democrats on the field. Whether that had much or anything to do with the motive behind the shooting, it’s premature to say.
Scalise’s office put out this statement…
“This morning, at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, Whip Scalise was shot in the hip. He was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he is currently undergoing surgery. He is in stable condition.
“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.
“We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.
“This office will release additional information regarding the Whip’s condition as appropriate.”