Gunman dead after shooting top Republican politician at baseball practice


A Washington hospital says the congressman shot during a baseball practice is in critical condition following surgery.

The Capitol Police officers who were injured are "in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point", Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at the news conference. Court records show that his legal trouble started in the 1990s.

Hodgkinson had arrests in his background for a series of minor offenses and at least one more serious matter.

Until recently, Hodgkinson ran a home-inspection business out of his house.

GOP Rep. Martha McSally announced later Wednesday that Thursday's congressional baseball game will still go on.

"I ask each of you to join me to resolve, to come together, to lift each other up and to show the country, to show the world, that we are one House, the people's House, united in our humanity", Ryan said. Sanders said he denounced the violence "in the strongest possible terms".

The congressman assured the public he was safe and said he was in the process of giving a statement to police about what he saw prior to the shooting.

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Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Hodgkinson's wife told ABC News that her husband had been living in Alexandria for the past two months. But with 535 members of the House and Senate, lawmakers said it is unlikely rank-and-file members will get security details unless there is a specific threat.

Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot, according to lawmakers present, then dragged himself into the outfield to get away from the gunman.

President Donald Trump said he was "deeply saddened by this tragedy" and was monitoring developments.

"That's the first I heard of it", Duncan told reporters in the basement of the Capitol.

He was suffering from a wound to the hip, according to multiple witnesses.

Congressional leaders typically attend the event and former President Barack Obama - famous for shunning opportunities to rub shoulders with lawmakers - even went two years ago, watching from the Democratic dugout.

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Paul said Scalise was on second base when he was shot. Duncan didn't learn about what happened until after he had returned to the Capitol, showered, changed, and then got a call from a former member of Congress asking if he was among the wounded.

"It was scary", Barton said.

When the federal officers first began firing, those in the dugout weren't certain if they were facing more than one shooter, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. My son Jack got under an SUV and he was very fearless. He said he did so to ensure that Mrs. Scalise would not find out about the shooting through the media. She expressed her concern for Scalise and said she felt a special connection to him due to their common Italian heritage.

"There was dozens if not hundreds of shots fired".

For most members of Congress, the threat of a personal attack is less visible. While the top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and regularly appear in public without protection.

NPR's Scott Detrow reports that a staff member from Williams' office was wounded. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot and seriously injured while meeting with constituents in a supermarket parking lot near Tucson in 2011.

Following the Giffords shooting, lawmakers have held fewer open town halls and have been advised to increase security at such events.

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