There were reports of multiple shots fired in Alexandria, Virginia this morning at a gathering of Congressional Republicans who were practicing for an annual baseball game. A total of five people have been wounded including the U.S. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two security officers, one staffer and the gunman.
According to Chief Mike Brown of the Alexandria Police Department, reports of an active shooter was called in at around 7:10 a.m. Wednesday. Units were at the scene in three minutes and officers received fire from the suspect. Officers returned fire and shot the suspect. EMS was called to the scene and transported five people to local hospitals.
The suspect has been identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson and was shot and killed due to injuries he sustained in the gunfight.
The President gave his statement on the incident saying,
"Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault. Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims."
The FBI will take over investigations for this incident.
It is too early to tell if this is a terrorist-related attack and there is no information about the suspect at this time.
Texas Rep. Roger Williams says one of his staffers was shot in the calf and used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Scalise was shot in the hip and both are being treated for their injuries.
Reports of two people who were shot during the incident are in critical condition and were transported to George Washington Hospital in Washington.
Texas Rep. Joe Barton says the shooting lasted 5-10 minutes and that dozens, if not hundreds of shots were fired; "it was scary". According to Barton the gunman was a middle aged man who was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt. He was carrying a rifle and possibly an automatic pistol.
Scalise is undergoing surgery and is in stable condition at this time. According to the statement sent out by his office, he was transported to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Rep. Mo Brooks described the shooter as being a chubby, white male and is unsure of his age.
According to Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, the gunman had 'a rifle of some sort...a lot of ammo'.
The President released a statement about the incident early Wednesday morning:
"The Vice President 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."
The President has canceled a visit to the Department of Labor later this afternoon to talk about apprenticeships and sign an executive order.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that both the president and vice president are aware of the shooting. The Alexandria Police Department has reported that the suspect is in custody and is no longer a threat and plan to give an update at the scene momentarily.
UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
ALERT: APD investigating multiple shooting 400 block E Monroe St. Suspect believed in custody. Stay from area, let emergency vehicles thru.— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) June 14, 2017
The Congressional baseball team Republicans vs. Democrats game has been an annual event since 1909. It now raises money for various charities. According to the 2017 roster listed online, Georgia Congressman Barry Loudermilk was a member of the team. 11Alive efforts to reach his office have not yet been successful.
Loudermilk has tweeted that he was at the practice but is okay and is asking for prayers for the family and the victims who were shot.
Please pray for those who were shot and their families. There were a lot of heroes here today. @thehillbaseball— Barry Loudermilk (@RepLoudermilk) June 14, 2017
I was on the field, but I’m okay. This was a senseless act of evil. @thehillbaseball— Barry Loudermilk (@RepLoudermilk) June 14, 2017
Senator David Perdue tweeted about the incident, as well as Senator Johnny Isakson:
Praying for @SteveScalise, Capitol Police, staffers, first responders involved in terrible events this morning.— Johnny Isakson (@SenatorIsakson) June 14, 2017
Our heartfelt prayers go out to all of the members, staffers, and Capitol Police officers affected this morning.— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) June 14, 2017
“It is not said enough. Thank you to our U.S. Capitol Police officers who work around the clock to protect and serve our country. When tragedy broke out today, two Capitol Police officers engaged and took down the shooter. One of the police officers—after being shot—stopped the shooter and helped others before even attending to his own wounds. This is true heroism. Steve Scalise is a personal friend, and Bonnie and I join the country in praying for him, our Capitol Police officers, and all of the individuals who were injured in this horrific shooting," a statement from Senator Perdue.