The congressman-doctor who treated Scalise on the ball field

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T. Hodgkinson, opened fire at a park outside in Alexandria, Va. early Wednesday morning.

Rep. Jeff Duncan of SC said he had just left the practice and encountered the apparent gunman in the parking lot before the shooting.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Scalise was in critical condition, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Scalise was in stable condition. "Fortunately, he's a good guy", Brooks said of a Capitol Police officer.

Jeff Flake was among those practicing at the field, but he was not injured. The shooter was killed by police. As the majority whip in the House, the 51-year-old Scalise is responsible for rounding up votes and maintaining order among the Republican Party's fractious ranks. California congressman Pete Aguilar tweeted: "My heart is heavy right now".

"If Scalise had a breakfast or something else this morning and wasn't there, you would have had 15 or 20 dead congressmen and 10 dead staff people".

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The game has taken place nearly every year since then, with a few exceptions: in 1914, for example, legislators were called from the field because a quorum wasn't present in the House to debate an important bill.

While colleagues on both sides of the aisle expressed relief that Mr. Scalise, shot in the hip, appeared to be out of mortal danger, Mr. Ryan acknowledged there were regrets. His colleague from the neighboring district in Louisiana, Democrat Cedric Richmond, has very publicly attested on multiple occasions to Scalise's inherent decency.

Scalise has also faced charges of racism that almost derailed his election as House majority whip.

Despite Scalise's history, LGBT groups and advocates were among those issuing statements condemning the violence against him. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted "our thoughts and prayers are with all affected".

"The tradition of congressional baseball is a lighthearted custom that brings the parties together in friendship", Flynn said.

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which started its spring general assembly this morning in Indianapolis, opened their conference with a prayer for the victims of the shooting as well as the victims of a massive apartment fire in London last night. "The swift response of the U.S. Capitol Police and first responders is testament to their selfless service to our nation".

In a statement, Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) described the attack as another "tragic and senseless" shooting.

He was wounded in a gunfight with Capitol Hill police who were at the scene, and police said he later died.

The shooter was identified as James T Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from IL who had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called "Terminate the Republican Party". President Donald Trump should attend and throw out the first pitch. It's time to double down on what makes America great: rational and civil political discourse, debating from positions of respect and not hatred. "So, we've got to speak up for the whole country". Virginia Governor Terry McAulliffe, commenting on the incident, said "there are too many guns on the streets".

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