A gunman opened fire on Republican congressmen and their aides during a baseball practice ahead of Thursday’s annual Congressional Baseball Game. Five were shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), on the Alexandria, Va., baseball field.
A few hours after Wednesday’s attack, President Trump addressed the nation from the White House.
Trump reported that Scalise was in stable condition. He also revealed that the shooter, identified as Illinois man James T. Hodgkinson, died from his injuries.
“Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police Officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault,” he added. “Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims.”
Trump spoke highly of Scalise, a “friend” and a “patriot,” before assuring that America was praying for his speedy recovery. The president also praised Capitol Police, the Alexandria Police Department, and others who helped.
Trump closed with a message of encouragement:
We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country. We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good. Please take a moment to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless you all, God bless you, and God bless America.
Earlier in the day, both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tweeted their thoughts and prayers to Scalise’s speedy recovery following the attack:
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) reported that the shooter asked him if the congressmen on the baseball field were Republicans or Democrats. DeSantis told him that they were Republicans before he left practice with another colleague.