BREAKING: Steve Scalise in critical condition after baseball field shooting; suspect is dead
By: Brandon Choghri
UPDATE: James Hodgkinson of Illinois has been identified as the shooter. The 66-year-old has now died in hospital after being fatally wounded by police.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Scalise was in critical condition after surgery, according to So Young Pak, spokeswoman for MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Scalise’s Aides reported that he had undergone surgery late Wednesday morning at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Hodgkinson opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, wounding GOP Whip Steve Scalise and several others.
Officials report that two of Scalise’s security detail members, one staffer and one lobbyist were also shot.
Police said a total of five people have been taken to hospital.
Witnesses say the gunman shot at least 50 rounds at the 25 congressional members at the field earlier this morning before he was taken down by authorities.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told CNN “it would have been a massacre” without Capitol Hill Police.
“Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police,” Paul said on CNN.
Scalise was airlifted to hospital and is currently undergoing surgery.
— CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump says Scalise will make a full recovery.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2017
House leaders have canceled the day’s votes, and both the President and Vice President have canceled speeches.
Trump made a speech in the Diplomatic Reception Room after the shooting and said,
“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.
“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are stronger when we are unified, and when we work together for the common good,” he said.
Hodgkinson seemed to have been a passionate supporter of Sen. Bernie Senators, and fervently anti-Trump. On Facebook, Hodgkinson appeared to sign an online petition to impeach President Trump, and belonged to several anti-Republican groups.
The FBI is now investigating Hodgkinson’s anti-Trump social media rants.
Earlier today, Sen. Sanders said he had been told that the alleged shooter had volunteered for his presidential campaign.
In a statement, he offered his “hopes and prayers” for the shooting victims, and condemned the attack.
“I am sickened by this despicable act,” he said.
“Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action.”