Congressional women's team hits practice field

A gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington early on Wednesday, wounding several people including House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise before being taken into custody, police and witnesses said.

Schumer, D-N.Y., the Senate minority leader, said he will attend the 56 annual Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday night with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders in a show of unity.

The shooter has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old IL man who had in recent months been living out of his vehicle in the Alexandria area. Congressmen said the gunman had a rifle and fired dozens of rounds before Capitol Police opened fire.

During his visit, Donald Trump also met with Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, who was shot while returning gunfire during the Wednesday shooting, and Griner's wife, Tiffany Dyar.

"It's been much more hard than people even thought at the time", Trump said of the treatment of Scalise, the No. 3 GOP leader, who is in critical condition and underwent a third surgery at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Investigators said in a statement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has searched the van, which was parked not far from the Alexandria, Virginia, baseball field where Wednesday's shooting took place.

"We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country", Trump said. "I wasn't planning on being at the baseball game, but I changed my plans and I'm going to be there tonight". Scalise, along with another victim, remains in critical condition.

The event raised questions about the security of members of Congress. Two Capitol Police officers sustained relatively minor injuries, as did a congressional aide, and they have been released from hospitals.

Zach Barth, a staffer for Republican Congressman Roger Williams, and Matt Mika, director of government relations for Tyson Foods, were wounded in the attack.

Capitol Police officers in Scalise's security detail returned fire, and Hodgkinson later died from his wounds.

"Nothing pulls people together like teamwork", said DeSantis' colleague from the Democratic team, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., who will be playing second base. "And while we may disagree on the direction of the country, we all agree that violence is never the answer". The gunman was identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

"They saved a lot of lives", the president said. "It's about Republicans and Democrats".

Scalise was hit by "a single rifle shot to the left hip". McConnell said a bipartisan baseball game Thursday night would go on as scheduled.

  • Leroy Wright