Details emerge after shootings at congressional baseball practice; five injured

Ed. Note: I will be updating this as news comes in. I will place updates below the original story.

Alexandria police presser after baseball practice shootings June 14

Alexandria (VA) Police Dept. chief Michael Brown made brief remarks to the press after the shootings at a practice field before the Democrats and Republicans’ annual baseball game for charity. (Via Alexandria PD on Twitter)

Rep. Scalise

Rep. Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip (official photo)

News is breaking about shootings at an early morning congressional baseball practice in Alexandria (VA). Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot in the hip according to witnesses, and after being taken to the hospital, was expected to undergo surgery.

Four others, including the gunman, were also injured, according to Alexandria police chief Michael Brown who said the five were “transported medically from the scene.” Included among the injured were members of the US Capitol Police whose presence witnesses credited with saving lives. A Capitol Hill staffer was also injured.

Judging accounts from witnesses, the gunman was well-prepared. 

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told Fox News the gunman “had a lot of ammo.” Flake said media reports approximately 50 shots were fired seemed “like an understatement.” Shots were fired by the shooter, US Capitol Police, and Alexandria officers.

Flake said the gunman looked like he is in his early 40s or 50s, that he was white, and wore a blue shirt. The gunman took cover for a brief period behind the third base dugout.

As soon as he could safely do so, Flake called Scalise’s wife so she didn’t learn about the shooting via the news.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), who is also a doctor, said the shooter used both a rifle and a pistol, and he was “firing all over the place.” The shooter was active, moving from one position to another. Wenstrup served in the Iraq War zone, and he immediately thought about the fact he didn’t have a weapon as he faced fire at the ball field.

Rep. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the shots seemed to last for about 10 minutes.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recounted a strange moment happened before the shooting started. A man asked if those practicing were Republicans or Democrats. DeSantis didn’t say the man was the shooter, however.

Members of Congress play an annual baseball game between Republicans and Democrats to raise money for charity. Dr. Paul mentioned one beneficiary was an organization working on behalf of children. The game was originally scheduled for Thursday.

Various accounts from witnesses indicated Scalise was shot, then dragged himself across the field.

Some media reported the gunman, before shooting, asked whether the people on the field were Democrats or Republicans. That statement hasn’t been confirmed by officials, and thus far we do not know the shooter’s name or motive.

The practice field was being used by Republicans; Democrats practiced elsewhere.

The Alexandria PD appears to be providing updates on Twitter:

(Filed by Kay B. Day; 6/14/17; compilation of remarks from witnesses to media and from officials on Twitter)

The Washington Post alleges the shooter was an activist supporting Bernie Sanders for president. I cannot confirm that at present.

Terry McAuliffe, governor of Virginia, stepped in it when he claimed we lose “93 million Americans a day” to gun violence.” This is not true; it is not even close to true.

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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