Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Trump decries shooting of top Congressman

Trump decries shooting of top Congressman

The shooting happened shortly after 7am, with lawmakers practicing their hitting and fielding a day before the annual charity congressional baseball game pitting Republicans against Democrats.

"A killing field", US Senator Rand Paul said in a televised interview, describing the scene in Arlington, Virginia. He will need additional surgeries, the hospital said.

Tim Slater, the Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, said he would not comment on what types of weapons Hodgkinson had or which one he was using as he shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, (R-Louisiana), and four others.

"Congressman Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip".

The president and first lady Melania Trump spent about half an hour at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

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While police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was too early to determine whether it was a deliberate political attack, the shooting intensified concerns about the sharp divide and bitter rhetoric in U.S. politics.

According to a statement from the hospital, Scalise remains in critical condition after suffering injuries to his internal organs and severe bleeding.

Hodgkinson was shot and killed by law enforcement officers.

Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc and former staffer for two former Republican representatives, was shot in the chest, according to witnesses including Senator Jeff Flake. "My heart goes out to my fellow members of Congress, to their staffers, and to the Capitol Police officers at the scene".

Rep. Scalise was airlifted to a nearby hospital, as Sen. Williams said at a press conference that Pence had spoken with his injured staffer, Zachary Barth.

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He told Muir that he later found out that the suspect, identified by authorities later today as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, had actually passed him at one point.

"Many lives would've been lost if not for the two Capitol Hill police officers who took down the gunman, despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault", President Trump said.

Trump has no plans to attend the congressional baseball game Thursday, out of concern for his safety.

FBI investigators said they are now examining the possibility that the motive for the shooting was political.

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