President Donald Trump called for unity in the wake of a shooting at a congressional baseball practice that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others on Wednesday, after clearing his public schedule to focus on the incident. A former congressional aide was hospitalized.
"This could be the first political rhetorical terrorist attack", Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, who was at the practice, told CNN's Brianna Keilar Wednesday morning before Hodgkinson had been publicly identified as the alleged shooter.
Scalise is in critical condition after undergoing surgery, according to MedStar Washington hospital. A gunman opened fire at a congressional event in Tucson, killing a congressional staff member and six others.
Praising the actions of law enforcement officers and first responders, Trump said the suspected assailant - identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. His home inspector license expired at the end of 2016.
"Many people likely would have died this morning if not for the bravery of the Capitol Police", Paul said.
The team of Republican congressman and staff members were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled for later this week against a Democratic team.
"This attack is despicable and horrific beyond words", Crigger wrote in one of the emails.
David Bailey, Capitol Police special agentDavid Bailey, left, is shown in a recent photo from his Facebook account. "Many of us don't agree with Rep. Scalise on many issues", Crigger said.
"I've seen him a couple of times like in the Superdome and I often wondered, 'Well, why in the hell did he have all those security people with him?" said Louisiana Senate President John Alario.
Less than an hour earlier, they had been part of the chaotic scene when a gunman opened fire on Republican politicians, staff and friends who were practising baseball. Brooks said the shooter said nothing during the rampage.
The Alexandria Police Department responded to Eugene Simpson Stadium Park shortly after 7:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a shooting. Scalise was coherent the whole time, Flake said.
Brooks said that Scalise, 51, was down on the ground with what Brooks described as "a hip wound".
Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verdarosa said the two wounded officers are in good condition, and he expects them to recover quickly.
"Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre", Sen. All we would have had would have been baseball bats versus a rifle.
Walsh said Hodgkinson never talked politics with him and did not seem prone to violence.
Brooks estimated that there were 50 to 100 shots fired.
On MSNBC, Giffords' husband, with whom she founded the non-profit Americans for Responsible Solutions, said his thoughts immediately went to moment he learned his wife had been shot. "It's not a secret we are practicing ..." In today's political climate, though, elected officials aren't given the benefit of the doubt, he said. He has co-sponsored legislation to weaken gun control laws in the District of Columbia.
Hodgkinson, who lived in the community just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, compared the economic conditions of the time to those that preceded the Great Depression and excoriated Congress for not increasing the number of tax brackets and taking other tax reform measures. "This is frightful. I got bloody running and jumping into the dugout".
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