Trump decries shooting of top Congressman


- Congressman Robert Pittenger of North Carolina's Ninth District made a statement concerning the shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others during a congressional baseball practice by a suspect who is now confirmed dead.

A Capitol Police officer who was part of Rep. Scalise's security detail also was wounded, as were a current congressional staffer and a lobbyist for Tyson Foods who previously worked for Congress.

Five people were "transported medically" from the scene, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said; however, it was unclear how many people had been shot.

Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, is in stable condition and underwent surgery.

Two capitol police officers were wounded in the shooting, authorities said.

The shooter has been identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of IL, and it's been reported he has ties to several anti-Republican online groups.

President Donald Trump later said that the assailant died. According to reports, a gunman walked up to practice and opened fire on the baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Paul said Scalise's presence on the field guaranteed a quick response time by Capitol Hill police. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected", it said.

"Congressman Scalise is a friend - a very good friend", Trump said, calling him a "patriot" and "a fighter".

Texas representative Roger Williams also reported that a member of his staff was shot at the practice.

Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted early Wednesday that she had spoken to Capitol Police and that the officers "will be ok".

Brooks said the return fire distracted the gunman until he was downed by the officers.

Senior Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was reportedly wounded in the shooting, one of his colleagues told CNN. His demeanor was "calm", witness Falisa Peoples said.

"We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip", Brooks said.

Democrats were scheduled to practice later on Wednesday but that was canceled after the shooting.

He said there were 20 to 25 members of team at the practice when the gunfire erupted.

A Republican congressman on the party's congressional baseball team fought back tears Wednesday as he reflected on his teammates' camaraderie in the face of horrific violence.

Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present, then dragged himself into the outfield to get away from the gunman.

Scalise, a representative from the southern state of Louisiana elected to Congress in 2008, heads the conservative House caucus known as the Republican Study Committee.