Thu, Jun 15, 2017 - Page 1 News List

US Republican lawmaker shot at baseball practice

LONE GUNMAN:One lawmaker said the shooter, who was shot and wounded by Capitol Police officers, was a middle-aged man who appeared to be white

AP, WASHINGTON

US Representative Steve Scalise, the House of Representatives’ Republican Whip, speaks at a news conference on Tuesday in Washington.

Photo: AFP

A top US House of Representatives Republican, Representative Steve Scalise, was shot yesterday by a rifle-wielding gunman at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington.

Capitol Police said officers who were part of Scalise’s security detail returned fire and wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody.

Five people were transported medically from the scene, Alexandria’s police chief, Michael Brown told reporters.

Two of the wounded were Capitol Hill police who were at the scene and who engaged in a gunfight with the shooter, witnesses said.

Republican representatives and senators were practicing at a popular park and baseball complex in Alexandria, Virginia, ahead the annual charity congressional baseball game pitting Republicans against Democrats.

Scalise, 51, the No. 3 House Republican leader, was in stable condition and undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital.

His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

US President Donald Trump said he was “deeply saddened by this tragedy”’ and was monitoring developments.

The shooting occurred about 7am.

The Republican team was taking batting practice when a gunshot rang out and chaos erupted, lawmakers on the scene said.

“All of a sudden we heard a very loud shot. The gunman was over by the third base dugout with a clear view of the field,” US Senator Jeff Flake told CNN.

Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, Flake said.

He said Scalise dragged himself 10 to 15 meters into the outfield to get further away from the gunman.

Initial reports said that as many as 50 shots had been fired, but Flake said, “50 would be an understatement. He had a lot of ammo.”

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.

Once the gunman was down, Flake ran to Scalise and tended to him. He said he grabbed Scalise’s cellphone to call his wife.

“I just didn’t want her to wake up and learn the news,” Flake said.

US Representative Mo Brooks, said that Scalise had what appeared to be “a hip wound.”

Brooks said the shooter said nothing during the rampage.

US Representative Roger Williams says a member of his staff was also shot and was receiving medical attention.

US Representative Joe Barton, who was at the scene, told reporters the gunman was a middle-aged man who appeared to be white and was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt.

Brooks said 25 to 30 Republican members of the House and Senate had gathered for a practice a day before the annual charity congressional baseball game pitting Republicans against Democrats.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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