WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Members of congress and their staff went to a Virginia field to practice for a charity baseball tournament.
Instead, a gunman had them running for their lives. Witnesses describe the chaos.
“There’s no large trees, no huts, there was nothing for them to hide around, so they were just laying as flat as they could on the ground, as shots were firing,” a witness said.
Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana was among those escaping the gunfire and was shot in the hip. Scalise, was traveling with a small security detail. President Trump says those officers are heroes.
“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,” President Trump said.
Multiple outlets identify the deceased gunman as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois. Online, Hodgkinson had posted several anti-Trump political comments.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Hodgkinson at one point volunteered for his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Senator Sanders said.
On Capitol Hill, members of congress are stunned. Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said, “I’m shaken up. My colleagues were targeted today by somebody who wanted to kill them.”
Despite today’s events, we’ve learned tomorrow’s congressional charity game will go on as planned. We also expect to hear more from members of congress tomorrow before they head home to their districts, Friday.