A gunman opened fire Wednesday morning on a group of Republican congressman while they were engaged in a casual baseball practice. According to sources and The Washington Post, 50 to 100 shots were fired.
Congressman Steve Scalise, the third highest-ranking congressman in the House, was injured in the hip and taken immediately to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. A congressional aide was also injured. If it had not been for the heroic actions of the Capitol Police, themselves injured, the toll might have been higher.
According to eyewitness accounts, the gunman, identified as James T. Hodkinson III, 66, from Illinois, shot Scalise, then fired at Trent Kelly. Capitol Police immediately returned fire as they approached the gunman.
Congressman Mo Brooks reported seeing the Capitol Police officers shooting back and moving towards the shooter, who ran towards home plate and was shot down. “They were both wounded,” said Brooks.
Scalise’s offices reported that the Congressman is in good spirits and is speaking to his wife by phone, saying in a statement that Scalise is “grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.”
Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said that his two officers are in good condition, and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries, according to The Washington Post.
"Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre -- we ha no defense -- we had no defense at all," said Rand Paul, R-Ky on "Fox & Friends." "I think we're lucky Scalise was there because this was his security detail and without them, it would have been a massacre."
Please pray for the victims of the shooting and their families. Please also pray for the healing of our nation.