U.S. Congressman shot on baseball field in Alexandria, Va. *UPDATE*: Goal was to kill Republicans

U.S. Congressman shot on baseball field in Alexandria, Va. *UPDATE*: Goal was to kill Republicans

NBC News reports that a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice at a ball field in Alexandria, Va. At least one congressman was shot, and early reports suggest the gunman is in custody.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. at Alexandria’s Eugene Simpson Field. The congressmen were  said to be practicing for an annual game.

A to CBS affiliate WUSA, the shooting victim Steve Scalise, a representative from Louisiana.

So far, details are sketchy. The motivation for the shooting has not yet been determined.

This is a developing story. Updates will be added as new information becomes available.

*UPDATE* It has been confirmed that Scalise was one of the shooting victims, as was an aid to the congressman, who majority whip in Congress. New reports also indicate that fifty shots were fired. The condition of the victims is as yet unknown.

Additional details from The Times-Picayune of greater New Orleans:

Scalise … was shot in the hip … by a gunman who opened fired at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Fox News is reporting.

Scalise was with 15-20 lawmakers who were practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game, according to HLN.

Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News the gunman was dead.

Fox said a staffer used a belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.

*SECOND UPDATE* Fox News has a quote from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala) who was on the scene and told a local radio station:

Finally, the shooter was shot behind home plate as he was circling around to the first base dugout where there were a number of US congressmen and other folks. Our security detail was able to incapacitate him at that point. I don’t know if he [the shooter] was dead. He was wounded. I don’t know how many times he was wounded.

According to The New York Times, five people on the ball field were shot.

*THIRD UPDATE* The motive for the shootings in Alexandria this morning, at least according to one congressman present, was purely political. From The Week:

Shortly after the shooting Wednesday morning at a congressional baseball practice, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) told NBC News that it appeared the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.” Walker, who was at the practice for the upcoming annual congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, confirmed he was “shaken but okay.” [Emphasis added]

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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