Five people, including U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), were shot at the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia at 7:00AM today, reportedly by an attacker with a rifle. The suspect is in custody.
The Alexandria Police Department reports that the suspect is “in custody and not a threat.” Also injured, according to NPR, were two police officers, a congressional staff members, and an officer either with the Capitol Police or US Secret Service. Rep. Scalise, who is the House Majority Whip, was subsequently evacuated by air to a hospital, and the other injured were also on their way to the hospital.
There appear to have been no fatalities in the attack at this point. The attacker was apparently also shot before being apprehended, and was taken to a hospital, according to FoxNews. Senator Mike Lee (R-Ut.) said that the attacker had been killed, although this is not yet confirmed.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Al.), who was also there for the practice, told CNN that he had used his belt as a tourniquet on Scalise’s leg. Mr. Brooks reported that he saw the attacker wielding “a semi-automatic rifle in the area behind third base, and that Scalise had been near second base.”
Rep. Scalise, along with other members of Congress and staffers, were at the baseball field to practice for the annual Congressional Republicans vs. Democrats baseball game, which was to be held tomorrow. President Donald Trump issued the following statement:
The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We 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.
The most accurate hot take of the event as of this moment comes from CBS correspondent Major Garret, who called the baseball field “the softest target imaginable: members of Congress getting together…before dawn to practice baseball before work…. [T]hey were exposed….”
Who would want to open fire on a group of Congressmen — check that, a group of Republican Congressmen — in broad daylight? Identity of the attacker is unknown, so motive is a big question mark, and until these become clear, anything would just be wild speculation.
Stay tuned for more info — this is a developing story.