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Federal Authorities Investigating Shooting Of Congressman, Others

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Federal Authorities Investigating Shooting Of Congressman, Others

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNS) — Federal authorities are
investigating a shooting that resulted in injuries for Catholic congressman and
Republican Steve Scalise and others when a gunman opened fire on him and others
during a June 14 practice for an annual congressional baseball game.

Late in the day a Washington hospital listed Scalise in critical condition after he underwent surgery for an injury to his
hip that he sustained in the shooting. The suspected gunman was identified as James Hodgkinson of Illinois, and
President Donald Trump said in a briefing that the shooter was dead.

Five people were medically transported from the scene at
Simpson Park in Alexandria, shortly after the 7 a.m. shooting, said Michael
Brown, police chief for the city of Alexandria, in a press briefing. In a press
release, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Hodgkinson was one of those
transported to the hospital, where he died. A U.S. Capitol Police officer, a
lobbyist and a congressional staffer also were injured and taken to area

Scalise is the U.S. House Majority Whip and represents
Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District. He and his wife, Jennifer, belong to
St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans. The
couple’s children attend the parish school.

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond said in a
statement: “We are saddened by this act of violence. Our prayers are with
Congressman Scalise, for his healing, his wife, Jennifer, and their children,
and for all involved in this shooting.”

“Our prayers go out for @SteveScalise, the Capitol
Police and others wounded or affected by this morning’s attack,” said
Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl via Twitter.

Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said in a statement he was
“profoundly saddened” by the events and offered prayers for those
wounded in “this senseless attack.”

In his prayer opening the day for Congress, which took place
in the late afternoon, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, Jesuit
Father Patrick Conroy said: “We, as Americans, are blessed by a free and open
society, with rights secured by law and the Constitution, but once again we are
reminded that there is a vulnerability that comes with that openness. May we
all be vigilant in being good citizens, neighbors and defenders of our way of
life at a time when so many challenges to our way of life and government seem
under siege.”

Like others, he expressed wishes for unity during a
difficult time for the country.

“May Republicans and Democrats be mindful of the rare
companionship they share, men and women who have taken very public
responsibility for our country that carries so many burdens,” Father Conroy
said, adding his wishes that the “day be characterized by kindness, goodwill and

The group of House members and staff were at a baseball
practice to prepare for the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game, played
each summer by members of Congress, when the shots rang out. Congressman Mo
Brooks of Alabama was on third base during the practice when the shooting

“All of a sudden I notice a guy’s got a rifle and he’s
shooting at us,” he told a news station.

Brooks said the weapon looked to be a semi-automatic. During
a break in the gunfire, he said he ran for cover and went to render help to
those injured. While he was helping, he said he heard security detail open fire
on the shooter.

“On days like today, there are no Democrats or
Republicans, only Americans united in our thoughts for the wounded,”
tweeted Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic and Democrat representing

Multiple news reports said two U.S. Capitol Police officers who were part of the Catholic congressman’s protective detail also were shot, as well as an aide to Texas Congressman Roger Williams.

Scalise was first elected to the U.S. House in 2008. He
represents Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District. Before that, he was a member
of the Louisiana House and the Louisiana Senate, serving from 1996 to 2008.

“Prior to entering surgery, (Scalise) was in good
spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of
U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,” said a statement
released by the congressman’s staff. “We ask that you keep the Whip and
others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”

Schools in the area near the shooting were immediately put
on lockdown and bomb-sniffing dogs monitored the grounds of the U.S. Capitol at

Federal authorities at a news conference said it was too early to
tell anything about the incident, whether it was terrorism, targeted toward Congress
or Scalise, or what exactly motivated it, but asked anyone with information to
call (800) CALL-FBI and select option 1. Organizers for the charity game said the event would take place as planned June 15.


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