A morning's baseball drill becomes an assault on Republicans


"And it was just a little odd and then he kind of walked toward the area where all this happened".

A man allegedly approached Republican Rep. Ron Desantis of Florida minutes before the shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday and asked which party the people on the field belonged to, Republicans or Democrats. I told him they were republicans. The gunfire injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others.

None of South Florida's congressional delegation is on the baseball team this year and apparently none were present at the shooting.

DeSantis is certain that he and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., encountered James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., moments before police say Hodgkinson opened fire on a Republican baseball practice. Duncan said he quickly called his close friend and fellow teammate, U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., who proceeded to put him on the phone with a police detective on the scene.

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"I was next up at bat, so I had a batting helmet on", said Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who said he clearly recognized the sound of a gun shot.

A congressional aide said Scalise was in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital. Afterall, he was playing third base and would have likely been directly in the line of fire. The congressman said both his own security team and local law enforcement have expressed concerns about violence at town halls.

"The Capitol Police saved many lives this morning from a shooter who had obviously planned to kill many Republican members", Walker said.

But an odd thing occurred just as DeSantis was leaving the practice in a vehicle with fellow Rep. Jeff Duncan. The shooter was taken down by the wounded officers and taken into custody.

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Because Scalise is a member of House leadership, a security detail accompanies him.

Loudermilk said he thinks the tone of the public debate over the future of health care in particular is putting lawmakers in danger. He says Scalise dragged himself into the outfield to get farther away from the shooting. "By the end of the day, we'll probably know more".

"The U.S. Capitol Police deserve praise for their courage this morning".

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Other lawmakers were stunned in the aftermath of the event, which raised questions about the security of members of Congress. She said the officer had gotten out of a parked auto , drawn a handgun and shouted something to the gunman, who then fired.