6TH UPDATE: President Donald Trump visited the injured House majority whip, Steve Scalise, at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday evening. Scalise had been operated on earlier in the day after being shot in the hip at a morning baseball practice for the Congressional team in Alexandria, Virginia. Per Trump, Scalise is “in very tough shape,” but “a real fighter.”
Scalise is in critical condition, according to a statement from the hospital late Wednesday. He underwent two procedures and will require additional surgeries. The bullet that struck his left hip “traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” MedStar said.
Trump and his wife Melania spent about 20 minutes at the hospital, also visiting with Crystal Griner, a U.S. Capitol Police officer who was wounded in the attack.
5TH UPDATE: Thursday’s charity baseball game between Dem and GOP House of Rep members will go on as scheduled.
Rep. Steve Scalise is in critical condition after being shot Wednesday morning by a lone gunman as he and other GOP members of Congress and staffers were practicing for Thursday’s game at Simpson Park in Alexandria, Virginia.
In addition to Scalise, those shot include congressional staffer Zach Barth; Capitol Police officers Krystal Griner and David Bailey; Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika.
Rep. Ron DeSantis was in the parking lot at the park, leaving baseball practice early, and says a man approached the vehicle he was in “and wanted to know if it was Democrats or Republicans practicing. Then he turned around and went to the field.”
DeSantis told CNN the man who approached the vehicle was the shooter, based on photos being shown of the assailant.
4TH UPDATE, President Trump address: “Authorities continue to investigate the crime and the assailant has now died from his injures,” President Donald Trump said in an address to the country from the White House, as Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot on second base, was still in surgery.
3RD UDPATE, Rep Rodney Davis, news conference, etc: “This could be the first political rhetorical terrorist act,” Rep. Rodney King said on Capitol Hill.
Davis was at bat when the shooter opened fire on House Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game at Simpson Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Rep. Steve Scalise was shot at second base.
“I watched my friend and fellow member, Steve Scalise, lying motionless on the field, wondering if he was going to be okay. That is a picture I will never forget,” Davis told CNN.
“This hatefulness we see in this country today over policy differences has got to stop. Such hatefulness, what we see I American politics and policy discussion now…this has got to stop,” he continued.
“We can disagree on how to govern. Republicans and Democrats need to use this day today to stand together and say ‘Stop. Let’s word together. Lets get things done. We have our differences but…let’s not let this lead to such hate.’
“I’m angry. I took the chance to come here because I want to talk to people about what I witnessed and about the effect it should have as we move forward as a country. That’s why I’m here, bloodied, still in my uniform. I have not had the chance to clean up. Because it’s that important the message get out.”
2ND UPDATE, shooter ID: Police have identified the gunman as James Hodgkinson of Illinois.
At a news conference, authorities said five people transported to local hospitals, but would not say if one of them is shooter. They dodged questions as to whether the shooter set out to target Republican House members.
1ST UPDATE, Scalise condition: Scalise is undergoing surgery and is in stable condition, while two of the as yet-unnamed shooting victims are in critical condition, according to various media reports.
PREVIOUS, Wednesday 6:10 AM PT: Police are describing the shooting scene at a Congressional baseball practice as a “stable” and “closed” situation. At least five people, including Rep. Steve Scalise, were transported to hospitals for medical attention. The suspect also is thought to be in the hospital under police custody.
Alexandria, Virginia Chief of Police Michael Brown spoke to reporters briefly — a more detailed press conference is expected around 10:30 a.m. ET — but declined to provide details beyond the number of people medically transported and news that the situation is contained.
House majority whip Scalise was shot in the hip early Wednesday morning as a gunman opened fire at the practice for the Congressional baseball team. It was not immediately clear how many people were shot in Alexandria, although multiple reports say one aide and two capitol officers were also hit.
Rep. Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who manages the team, said the shooter seemed to have a rifle and an automatic pistol, was dressed in blue jeans and a blue shirt, appeared to be a middle-aged “Anglo” man, and that the active shooting lasted about 10 minutes. Barton said the shooter possibly got off dozens or even hundreds of shots.
Barton attended the practice with his 10-year-old son, who took cover under an SUV.
President Donald Trump released the following written statement:
“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. 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.”
As news coverage continued, reports of five or six injured included Scalise, at least two police officers and an unspecified number of congressional aides. Some members of Congress, still dressed in their baseball practice clothes, just got off a bus and entered Capitol building.
ABC, CBS, NBC and the major cable news outlets — CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel — broke into regular programming to cover the shooting. International news networks, also dealing with a deadly fire in a London apartment building, scrambled to cover the developing situation.
MSNBC spoke to Sen. Jeff Flake, the Republican from Arizona, who was attending the baseball practice and phoned Scalise’s wife to break the news that her husband had been hit. Flake described the shooter as a bearded man in his 40s or 50s.
Vice President Mike Pence has canceled a pre-scheduled 9AM speech. He tweeted:
The shooting occurred a little after 7AM local time with reports of about 50 shots being fired. One witness told CNN 50 shots was “an understatement.” Congressional and law enforcement sources also told CNN the shooting appears to be a “deliberate attack.” Speaking on CNN, one senator told reporters that the shots lasted about 10 minutes.
On the news, Trump tweeted his support of Scalise:
Other comments included: