A gunman opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday morning where members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game, reportedly injuring Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others. Early reports suggest the shooter had a rifle and scope, and police now have him in custody.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip and at least one other aide was also hit in the chest by a gunman with a rifle who opened fire at a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.
Police tweeted they “believed” the gunman was in custody. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was dead. He said a staffer used a belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.
Brooks said he was on deck at a practice for the congressional baseball team when the shooting occurred. Scalise, the majority whip, appeared to have been shot in the hip and it appeared two Capitol Hill police agents were shot, he added.
Brooks said there were a number of congressmen and congressional staffers lying on the ground, and at least one of them was wounded. The Alabama Republican said he used his belt as a tourniquet to help one of the victims.
Law enforcement said the incident appeared to be a “deliberate attack.” Helicopters were in the air on the scene for an hour after the shooting, at least one for transporting wounded to the hospital.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup treated Scalise on the field.
“I did what I did in Iraq,” said Congressman and Army Reserve officer, adding that Scalise was conscious and lucid the whole time he was at the field.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) June 14, 2017
Scalise is now in surgery. A statement from his office said he was in “good spirits” before going in and had talked to his wife on the phone.
“He is grateful for the brave action of the U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,” the statement said.
Scalise Office statement pic.twitter.com/HsoijywAXy
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) June 14, 2017
Active shooter situation during this mornings trip to the Y. Terrifying. Am ok. Sheltered in place & under lockdown. pic.twitter.com/iJs6fZpjiK
— Joseph Miscavige aka Professor Zoom (@JoeMiscavige) June 14, 2017
Sen. Rand Paul told MSNBC he heard 50-60 shots fired. He thought the first shot was a shotgun, “which isn’t that unusual in the South. But then I thought, well, we are in the city, we aren’t in the country here.”
Because Scalise is among Congressional leadership, the team had Capitol Police with them, which Paul said prevented multiple fatalities.
“We finally heard a response from the Capitol Hill police. We’re actually very lucky they were there … One of the things that’s really fortunate — everyone probably would have died, except for the fact that the Capitol Hill police were there…If Scalise hadn’t been on our team … it would have been a massacre.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan and Rep. Ron DeSantis told media they spoke to a man they believed to be the shooter as they left practice at about 7:10, five to 10 minutes before shooting started:
I'm told Rep. Jeff Duncan plans to give a statement to police regarding a conversation he had with the shooter before leaving practice early
— Rebecca Buck (@RebeccaBuck) June 14, 2017
Sen. Jeff Flake described to CBS being sheltered in the dugout, not knowing if they were surrounded. The shooting lasted at least 10 minutes, according to Flake, before the shooter was taken down. Rep. Joe Barton’s 10-year-old son was at the practice, and members put him in the dugout under a bench.
“Looks like only one shooter…whether he was targeting certain members, we don’t know,” Sen. Jeff Flake says, who witnessed shooting pic.twitter.com/0SolxHjRAG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017
Capitol Police have increased presence on Capitol Hill, but all buildings remain open.
U.S. Capitol Police statement on shooting in Virginia and increased police presence throughout Capitol complex out of caution. pic.twitter.com/PJZiv7Y1W0
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) June 14, 2017
This report has been updated with additional details.