Wednesday morning, around 7:10 a.m., while members of Congress,who form the Republican baseball team, were at practice, when someone opened fired on those on the field. According to witness reports, the suspect used an M4 spraying the area with gunfire. The Capitol Police officers, who were there as a protection detail of Representative Steve Scalise, who is the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, returned fire with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul saying that “it would have been a massacre” without Capitol Hill Police. Two officers of the Capitol Hill Police were also shot protecting the members of Congress.
The shooter has been identified as identified by law enforcement as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois. Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, described the gunman to reporters as a middle-aged white male wearing a blue shirt and possibly jeans. He stated “my view of him was just quick behind the dugout, and then when I realized he had a line of sight into the dugout with all the members there then we obviously went back down quickly.” In all besides the shooter, 4 other were wounded by the gunman.
Michael Brown, chief of police for Alexandria, Virginia stated that “This is a stable situation. “At this point, there’s no additional threat. We consider this incident to be a closed incident under investigation.” Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa stated the Capitol Police officers who were injured are “in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point.”
Senator Jeff Flakes reported the shooting, “”We were doing batting practice, 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.” Another witness to the shooting, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, one of the team’s coaches, said one of his staff members, legislative correspondent Zack Barth, was shot during the incident and is receiving medical attention. Williams tweeted Barth was “receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”
The shooter, according to his social media pages, is a critic of President Trump yet also held disdain for Hillary Clinton. James T. Hodgkinson, has a Facebook page is a constant anti-Trump page. He reportedly, is a staunch Bernie Sanders fan but even with the knowledge of his Facebook page the motive is unclear why Hodgkinson would drive all the way from his home in Illinois to Arlington to attack Republican members of Congress.
President Trump issued a statement on the shooting. “The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Trump said in the statement. “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.”
There is video of the shooting where you can hear the shot ring out and people yelling to get down. the video was shot by a witness to the shooting spree by Noah Nathan.