Alexandria, Virginia awoke to gun violence early Wednesday morning when Republican House Whip Steve Scalise was gunned down in a deliberate attack. Several congressional police force members were also shot during the exchange of fire. Federal law enforcement officers have identified the shooter as 66-year old James Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois. Five people have been hospitalized, and the shooter was killed by law enforcement according to a statement made by President Trump.

Congressman Scalise

Steve Scalise has reportedly been shot in the hip and is currently undergoing treatment. He is the third highest ranking member of the Republican House majority and is serving as the House Whip.

He is currently in stable condition and undergoing surgery. Other victims in this shooting are congressional staffer Zach Barth and Tysons Foods lobbyist Mike Mika. According to Senator Jeff Flake, Mika is suffering from the most damaging injuries. Paul Ryan, current Speaker of the House, has also identified two Capitol Police members who have been injured. Krystal Griner and David Bailey are receiving treatment for their injuries, which are non-life threatening.

The Incident

The congressional staffers were practicing for a baseball game that is scheduled to take place on Thursday at Nationals Park. The game has been played every year since 1901 and Republican Representative Martha McSally announced that the game will continue as planned. Investigators claim that it is too early to assume the motive of the shooting.

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They are unsure whether this was an act of terror or if Scalise was being specifically targeted. FBI special agent Tim Slater said in a news conference, "It's too early to say. It's really raw at this moment." Witnesses say the baseball practice was normal just before shots were fired. When the shooting began, people ran for cover in dugouts and jumped over fences. Scalise was occupying second base when he was shot in the hip. He crawled roughly 15 meters away and waited until the shooting was over. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who is also a physician, went to help Scalise and applied pressure to the wound until paramedics arrived. The shooter was equipped with a semi-automatic weapon that fired off dozens of rounds. Capitol Hill Police are being praised by the current administration for their quick response. Senator Rand Paul said, "Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police. It would have been a massacre." Regular proceedings have been cancelled or will be rescheduled, and security has been increased on Capitol Hill.