Washington reacts to horrific shooting injuring Rep. Scalise, staff and police
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group)- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R LA, was shot during a practice baseball game on Wednesday morning. Several others including two law enforcement officers were also shot.
Scalise’s injuries are believed to be serious but not life threatening. The congressman underwent surgery at a nearby hospital.
The suspect was taken into custody according to the Alexandrea Police. President Trump later confirmed during a news conference that the shooter died from his injuries.
The game they were practicing for is an annual charity event and has been a tradition in Washington, where each party plays against each other. The Democrats team was also practicing at the same time but at another location at the time the shooting occurred. Members of Congress say that the charity game will still go on as planned.
House Speaker Paul Ryan in a moving statement on the House floor said "an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."
Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz, who was at the game said the gunman had a rifle and a lot of ammo. He also described the shooter as "a white male with dark hair."
Flake was also the first to call Scalise's wife after the shooting.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was at the practice when the shooting began.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R- GA, described the horrific moments he ran from the shooter as gun shots kicked up the dirt from the baseball diamond around him.
Loudermilk tweeted earlier in the day to let others know he was okay.
Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, in an interview with ABC7 applauded the actions of the Capitol Police..
“Well we were there for, I don't know, it seemed like forever. What we finally heard was Capitol Police returning gun fire and these guys were real heroes, and without them I think everyone would have been killed," Paul said in the interview.
Rep. Evan Jenkins, D- WV, echoed Sen. Paul's sentiments.
Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tenn, reflects back on times when he used to play on the team and security was not present at the time.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, told Sinclair that it was Scalise's position in congress that provided the security detail that was present at the practice game and helped to keep others safe.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he was grateful for Capitol Hill police.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn, told Sinclair in an interview he attributes lives being saved to the presence of Scalise's security detail.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., said it is time to lower the rhetoric and insure civility remains a part of the democratic process.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D- RI, says that he an his colleagues do not want to live in fear.
President Trump and First Lady sent prayers to the congressman and individuals injured.
Vice President Pence and his wife wished the Congressman a fast recovery
Other lawmakers took to social media to let people know they were safe.
Rep. French Hill, R-Ark, asked for prayers for those in public office and prayers for those in uniform.
Congressman Phil Roe, R-Tenn, said that the events reminded him of when Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D- Ariz, who was shot in Tucson as she met with constituents outside of a supermarket in 2011, sent her well wishes to her former colleagues.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., told Sinclair, “It’s deeply troubling that you can't even play baseball without being under threat.” She added “obviously when you have a large gathering of a number of members [of Congress], and people know where it is, that’s a site you should have police protection.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington issued responses to the shooting on social media. We will continue to update this story.
Stephen Loiaconi and Jessie Karangu contributed to this report.