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US Congressman Steve Scalise shot at baseball practice in Virginia, Trump says attacker dead

Republican Mo Brooks told media that five people, including Scalise, were injured in the shooting as House Republicans were practicing for the upcoming congressional baseball game
India TV News Desk Washington June 14, 2017 21:42 IST
India TV News Desk

United States President Donald Trump said that the assailant who shot five people five people, including the House Majority Whip Steven Scalise, at a GOP Congressional baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia, has died from his injuries. 

Five people, including the House Majority Whip Steven Scalise, were injured in a shooting after a gunman reportedly opened fire at a GOP Congressional baseball practice session in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning.

Trump said Wednesday morning that the gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, had died. The assailant has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson.

Scalise was shot at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington. Officials said several other people were also wounded. Trump said Scalise “was badly wounded and is now in stable condition.”

Trump praised the “heroic actions” of the Capital Police at the scene.

Republican Mo Brooks told media outlets that five people were injured in the shooting as House Republicans were practicing for the upcoming congressional baseball game. Steve Scalise, the third-ranking House Republican, was among those injured, he said, adding that Scalise was shot in the hip area.

A congressional aide said Scalise was in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital, AP reported. His wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

Republican Mike Bishop said Scalise was standing on second base when he was shot. "I was looking right at him," Bishop told Detroit radio station WWJ. "He was a sitting duck."

Both US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to talk about the incident. 

Four others, including two capitol hill cops, were also reportedly injured. Brooks said security detail fired back at the shooter. The gunman is believed to have fired several shots taking cover behind a dugout before he was arrested.

Alexandria police said a suspect in the shooting was in custody. 

White House spokesman Sean Spicer earlier said the President and the Vice President were aware of the situation.

Katie Filous was walking her two dogs near the field when she heard "a lot of shots, probably more than 20." She said the shooting "went on for quite a while."

Filous said she saw the shooter hit a uniformed law enforcement officer, who she said was later evacuated by helicopter. She said the officer had gotten out of a parked car, drawn a handgun and shouted something to the gunman, who then fired.

Scalise is the Republican majority whip in the House of Representatives – the congressman responsible for counting votes and maintaining party discipline.

The Louisianan, a father of two, is counted among conservatives in Congress who tend to back President Donald Trump's more controversial initiatives, including calling his famous travel ban a 'prudent' measure. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.

Republican Jeff Duncan said in a statement that he was at the practice and "saw the shooter."

"Please pray for my colleagues," Duncan said.

More details awaited.

(With agencies)