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Gunman opens fire on members of Congress at baseball practice; At least 5 people shot

Rep. Steve Scalise among those shot
Reports: Louisiana congressman shot
Reports: Louisiana congressman shot
Reports: Louisiana congressman shot
Posted at 4:59 AM, Jun 14, 2017

Witnesses at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia say a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and their staffers, hitting several people including at least one congressman.

The shooting happened as Republican members of Congress were getting ready for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which was scheduled for Thursday in Washington.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was among those shot on Wednesday morning. He was reportedly shot in the hip and is expected to recover.

"Scalise hit. Other staffers hit," Fox News reporter Chad Pergram tweeted on Wednesday just before 8 a.m. Eastern.

At least five people were taken to hospitals from the incident, according to Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown.

The shooter is in police custody, according to CNN. He was taken to a hospital after the shooting.

After the incident was reported, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who was there when the shooting happened, told CNN "there must have been 50 to 100 shots fired."



Brooks also said the shooter shot two officers working protective detail for the Congress members at the event.

He told CNN the shooter looked like a "white male ... middle aged ... a little on the chubby side."

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told the Associated Press that the gunman had "a rifle of some sort ... a lot of ammo."

Alabama talk radio host Matt Murphy tweeted that he spoke with Brooks as well, saying the congressman said "five or more" people were hit.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told MSNBC he saw shots hitting the ground near where people had dropped for cover on the baseball diamond. Paul told the network that Capitol Police officers saved many lives.

At about 8:30 a.m., President Donald Trump released a statement on the shooting, saying he and Vice President Mike Pence "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," Trump said.

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

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) told Wisconsin's WTMJ that he believed the shooting "could have been much worse" if Scalise had not been there, due to the security detail that protects him. Grothman said security would not typically follow a member of Congress to an event like this but because of Scalise's position as House majority whip, he had a detail with him.

The incident happened at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Congressional Baseball Game has been a tradition since 1909, being played between members of the U.S. House and Senate. Proceeds from the game benefit several charities.

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

Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.