Senior United States Congressman Steve Scalise was shot at during a baseball practice game in Virginia early on Wednesday. Reports say that at least four others, including two US Capitol Police officers, were also injured before the suspected shooter was taken into custody.
The suspected gunman opened fire on Congressional Republicans using an automatic weapon on 400 block E Monroe Street in the Del Ray neighbourhood of Alexandria in Virginia. Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, was one of the people who was shot at during the practice game.
President Donald Trump said in a statement that he and the Vice President Mike Pence were monitoring developments closely. "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," the president said in a statement.
Republican Mo Brooks, who was present at the scene, told CNN: "I was out there waiting to get ready when I heard shots. Then I heard Steve Scalise at 2nd Base. He screams." Brooks said that Scalise was shot in the hip and that he was "dragging his body" to get away from the shooter.
"There is not a whole lot you can do. It was emotionally distressing to know the position he was in," Brooks told CNN.
Brooks said that and exchange of fire took place between the security officers and the gunman, who said nothing as he opened fire on the officers and the Congressional Republicans at the baseball practice game. About 50 shots were fired, congressional sources were quoted by the New York Times as saying.
Brooks added that "at least five" people were shot by the gunman. He also said that he helped a couple of victims who were shot at by the gunman. He used his belt as a tourniquet to help stop the gunshot bleed from the leg of one of the victims. Other officers arrived at scene two to five minutes later.
"My adrenaline is raging. It's not easy to take to when you see people around you being shot and you don't have a weapon yourself," Brooks told CNN. He added that the officers were "screaming for reinforcements" and "it seemed like forever, but it was probably shorter than it was."
The gunman stood behind a dugout, the Republican said adding that he could see him only for a fraction of a second. "He appeared to be a white male," Brooks said adding that "right now, we're secure."
Alexandria Police confirmed through Twitter that the suspect was in custody "and not a threat." "Victims being transported to hospitals," Alexandria Police stated on Twitter.
President Trump also tweeted saying that Scalise was a "true friend and patriot". He wrote on Twitter: "Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Twitter that both Trump and Pence "are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected."
Scalise represents the First Congressional District of Louisiana, which extends from the New Orleans suburbs.