June 14, 2017
Washington, DC – Kendall Forward, OAN Political Correspondent
A lone gunman opened fire on a Republican Congressional baseball practice early Wednesday morning in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, VA, before being fatally shot by police.
Five people, including Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two Capitol Police officers, and a lobbyist and a Congressional aide were injured.
Witnesses and members credit Scalise’s security detail, assigned to him for his leadership role, for saving many lives, and say had they not been there it could have been a massacre.
The agents quickly took down the gunman, 66 year old James T. Hodgkinson, after he refused to drop his rifle.
The United States Capitol Police Chief, Matthew R. Verderosa released a statement commending the quick response of agents on scene: “I want to commend Special Agents Crystal Griner, David Bailey, and Henry Cabrera for their heroic and appropriate response in protecting the Members and others today during their practice for the Congressional baseball game.
“I’m grateful that Special Agent Griner is in good condition in the hospital having been shot in the ankle, and Special Agent Bailey was treated and released having sustained a minor injury during the incident.”
Congressman Mo Brooks was standing near home plate and used his belt as a tourniquet for one of the victims. He says, had it not been for the capitol police, he and his fellow members would’ve been the next victims. “They had pistols he had a riffle. That’s not a fair fight. Both of them were wounded. The bravery they showed is just incredible.”
Witnesses say Hodgkinson asked whether it was the Republican or Democrat team playing before opening fire.
Hodkinson is a home inspector from Belleville, IL, who worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign. His social media is filled with his distaste for Republicans and the Trump Administration. He’s also a member of the Facebook group “Terminate the Republican Party.” FBI directors believe he has been living out of his car in Alexandria, VA since March.
Wednesday morning, Sanders vehemently denounced the acts of violence on the House Floor.
“I’m sickened by this despicable act and let me be clear as I can be; Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society.”
Alexandria Police rushed to the scene, which is usually a quiet neighborhood, surrounded by dog parks and children walking to school when 9-1-1 calls came in at 7:09 am.
Rep. Scalise was the first shot. Tysons Food lobbyist, Matt Mika and Legislative Correspondent for Rep. Roger Williams, Zach Barth were also shot. Mika was seriously injured.
Five people total including Hodgkinson were transported to area hospitals.
Another congressman and Agent Griner were taken for secondary injuries.
Rep. Joe Barton’s 10 year old son was also in the dugout when shots were fired.
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-R), who was on the field says, “within moments there was a barrage of shots being fired. We hit the ground immediately and we didn’t exactly know where the shots were coming from it was loud it was constant we took refuge in the dugout.”
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-R) says he thinks the gunman “was targeting.” He likened it to a killzone and added, “ If it wasn’t for these two capitol police officers we wouldn’t be having this conversation today. “The second officer he left from behind the vehicle he tried to get a shot and he ended up getting shot.”
Republicans and Democrats have come together over the issue. Wednesday morning following the incident, Paul Ryan said, “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Leaders of both parties have said the game will go on Thursday night. It will take place at National’s Stadium. The game raises money for children’s charities in the Washington, D.C. area including the National’s Dream Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, and the Washington Literacy Center.