Early Wednesday morning, a gunman opened fire at a group of people practicing for a congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. Among the injured is Rep. Steve Scalise. Who is Steve Scalise? He's a congressman from Louisiana and the House Majority Whip. Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, who was also at the practice but was not injured, told CNN News Day that Scalise was shot in the hip. Brooks also told CNN that as many as four people were shot, including Scalise, an unnamed congressional staffer, and two unidentified Capitol Hill Police officers. According to The Hill, Scalise is in stable condition. Representatives for Scalise did not immediately return Romper's request for comment.
Scalise is a 51-year-old husband and father of two representing Louisiana's 1st District. As House Majority Whip, it's Scalise's job to wrangle fellow Republicans and ensure their legislative votes fall in line with the GOP agenda. Scalise has been a congressman since 2008, filling fellow Republican Bobby Jindal's seat after a special election when Jindal became Louisiana's governor. Prior to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Scalise was a state representative for 12 years, and a state senator for just under a year when he assumed his U.S. House seat.
Brooks told CNN that Scalise was positioned at second base when the shooting began, saying as many as 50 to 100 shots were fired in the span of approximately 10 minutes. He recounted that Scalise began crawling toward the outfield in an effort to escape the shooting. Brooks removed his belt and fashioned a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from Scalise's hip. Sen. Jeff Flake, who was also in attendance at Wednesday's practice and witnessed the shooting, told reporters that he retrieved Scalise's cell phone and immediately called Scalise's wife Jennifer, saying, "I didn't want her to wake up and hear the news."
Scalise's Washington, D.C., office released a statement on the shooting. According to CBS News, the statement said Scalise is undergoing surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is in stable condition. The statement also said Scalise was in "good spirits" prior to entering surgery, and had spoken to his wife over the phone.
President Donald Trump offered his thoughts and prayers to the congressman via Twitter, as well as in an official statement from the White House on the Alexandria shooting, saying:
The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.
According to The Washington Post, the alleged Alexandria shooting gunman was shot by police and is in custody while at an unspecified area hospital.