Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Gunman shoots USA congressman, police at baseball practice

Gunman shoots USA congressman, police at baseball practice

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that President Donald Trump was being briefed.

The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL who had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party".

"Everyone on that field is a public servant", the president said.

U.S. president Donald Trump has visited critically-ill party whip Steve Scalise, who was shot by a rifle-wielding attacker as he practised for a charity baseball game.

Trump brought the White House physician, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, to the hospital with him, and also spoke with the hospital's medical director, Dr. Ira.

The House has returned to business after a gunman fired at a baseball practice, critically injuring a top Republican lawmaker and wounding several others.

Across the Potomac River in Washington, the shocking events left the Capitol horrified and stunned, and prompted immediate reflection on the current hostility and vitriol in American politics. Members on both sides of the chamber listened intently to the comments by both House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

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"This is not about more guns, which we know would not have prevented this event in spite of the presence of Congressman Scalise's armed detail", said the group Sandy Hook Promise. On Thursday House proceedings were to resume as usual, and lawmakers were returning to the Capitol in search of some semblance of normalcy.

The attacker, whose political views are being examined as a possible motive, was a former volunteer for Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign.

Lipinski said he talked with Republican congressmen who were at the baseball field, some of whom were standing between Scalise and the shooter. "It makes you feel vulnerable", said Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., a pitcher on the baseball team.

A gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice early Wednesday morning, shooting several attendees. Two congressman said they had sustained minor injuries while trying to take cover.

There will be plenty of security at the charity baseball game, which is to be played as scheduled Thursday.

He had been living out of his van in the Alexandria area in recent months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. "Go look at my Facebook page".

Colleagues said Mr Scalise had been fielding at second base at a local park in Alexandria, just across the Potomac River from the nation's capital, as the Republicans practised for their annual game with Democrats.

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The gunman had a rifle and "a lot of ammo", said Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who was at the practice.

Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton, the manager of the Republicans' team, recalled in an emotional news conference that his son was "at practice this morning, and he had 25 dads".

It's gameday. Ready to get back on the field and play for @SteveScalise, Matt Mika & friends tonight.

Other members of Congress helped him, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. "The next thing I remember was somebody on the field yelling, 'Run, he's got a gun'".

Two weeks ago, the Capitol police dispatched two officers to the Houston district of Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.

He was out of surgery but remained in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a statement from his family.

For many members, the men's baseball and women's softball teams had become a rare opportunity to break away from partisan lines in recent months. But they were on scene only because Scalise is in the leadership. The Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer's staff delivered pizza to Scalise's office in the late afternoon. "I got in the vehicle and left, and found out later that my Republican colleagues were targeted by an active shooter".

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