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Congressman in critical condition after shooting at baseball practice


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A lone gunman who was said to be distraught over President Donald Trump’s election opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team at a practice field in this Washington suburb Wednesday, using a rifle to shower the field with bullets that struck four people, including Rep. Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives.

The gunman, who died after a shootout with police, was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.

Two members of Scalise’s Capitol Police security detail were wounded as they exchanged fire with the gunman in what lawmakers described as several chaotic, terror-filled minutes. One was wounded by gunfire and one suffered other, minor injuries.

Standing at second base, Scalise was struck once in the left hip, according to witnesses, and collapsed as the shots rang out, one after another, from behind a chain-link fence near the third-base dugout. Witnesses said Scalise, of Louisiana, “army crawled” from the infield to the grass as the shooting continued.

His injuries were extensive, and he was in critical condition Wednesday night, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said in a statement. As the bullet traveled across his body, it broke bones, tore up internal organs and caused major internal bleeding.

Doctors operated immediately, but additional surgery is required, the hospital said.

Trump and his wife, Melania, went to the hospital Wednesday night. The president sat privately with Scalise and spoke with his doctors and wife, Jennifer. He also briefly chatted with Capitol Police officers.

The FBI said Hodgkinson had a handgun and a rifle, according to a law enforcement official. Witnesses described a man with white hair and a beard wielding a long gun as he stood behind the dugout.

Others who were wounded included Zachary Barth, a member of Rep. Roger Williams’ staff, who was struck in the leg by a bullet, and Matt Mika, a former congressional staff member and the director of government relations for the Washington office of Tyson Foods, who was shot twice in the chest.

He was in serious condition. Barth was treated at a hospital and later released.

Officials identified the two Capitol Police officers as Crystal Griner and David Bailey, both 32. Officials said Griner was shot in the ankle, while Bailey suffered other minor injuries and was treated and released.

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