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12:36 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

Sen. Flake said he helped apply pressure to Steve Scalise’s wound

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake/R-Arizona


U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake/R-Arizona

A gunman this morning opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican members of Congress were practicing, wounding U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Associated Press and major news outlets reported.

The police chief in Alexandria, Virginia, has confirmed that five people were taken to hospitals. Responding officers were also wounded in the shooting, but U.S. Capitol Police said they are expected to survive.

President Donald Trump said the assailant, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, has died.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was at the baseball practice, said the gunman had “a rifle of some sort” and “a lot of ammo.”

Flake said Scalise was playing second base at a congressional baseball practice when he was shot by a man standing off the third-base side of the field. He said Scalise dragged himself into the outfield to get farther away from the shooting.

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Texas said his aide, Zack Barth, was among those who were shot. He said Barth “is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”

The CNN cited Flake as saying once the shooter was neutralized, he and U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup went out to where Scalise was lying to apply pressure to his wound and that Scalise was coherent the whole time.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois credited U.S. Capitol Police officers on the scene, saying had they not been there, it “would have been a massacre.”

Davis was interviewed on CNN, still in his baseball t-shirt, with blood on his elbow and hand.

He said he and other members of Congress fled the dugout as shots were fired, took shelter behind cars and then ran to a nearby apartment building to call police.

He said never thought he’d go to a baseball practice and “have to dodge bullets.”

Police have not said whether the shooter was intentionally targeting members of Congress. But, Davis said, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that no bullets were fired outside the baseball field.”

President Trump has spoken to Scalise’s wife and chief of staff, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the chief of the Capitol Police.

McConnell said the entire Senate is “deeply saddened” over the shooting. In remarks on the Senate floor, he said the senators are concerned for the injured and “will keep them in our prayers” and send wishes for a full recovery.

McConnell expressed gratitude for the Capitol Police officers on the scene, as well as other first responders.

He noted that the baseball game is a bipartisan charity event and he encourages the Senate to “embrace that spirit today as we come together in expressing both our concern and our gratitude.”

The FBI and local law enforcement officials said they haven’t identified a motive.