BREAKING: Scalise, Four Victims Recovering After Gunman Opens Fire on Baseball Field

UPDATE:
The latest FBI news conference says there were four victims who were shot not five: Congressman Steve Scalise, Lobbyist Matt Mika, Congressional Staffer Zach Barth and one capitol officer. Two more people were injured indirectly – a congressman and a capitol officer. The gunman James Hodgkinson was also shot and killed.

Family members of Matt Mika says he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition after surgery.Family members of Matt Mika says he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition after surgery. Mika was wounded Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice, injuring a congressman and others. His family said in a statement late Wednesday that they expect Mika to remain hospitalized for at least several days. The family said, “we continue to be in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack.” Mika is a former aide to Michigan Republican congressman Tim Walberg. He is director of government relations for Tyson Foods Washington, D.C., office and has worked for the company for more than six years. Mika’s family described him as “a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game.”

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Rep. Steve Scalise, a member of the House Republican leadership, is known for his love of baseball and the late-night meals he often serves his colleagues in his office near the Capitol’s ornate Statuary Hall.

Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican, was shot Wednesday along with several others during a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. He was in critical condition following surgery, the hospital said.

An avid sports fan, Scalise distributed commemorative baseball bats to fellow members when he ran for the leadership post in 2014. The Louisiana conservative was elected majority whip, the job of chief vote counter for the GOP leadership team.

His campaign for the whip job had a Louisiana flair that included distribution of “Geaux Scalise” T-shirts and a Cajun dinner with sausage, oysters and gumbo.

Scalise, 51, was first elected to the House in 2008 and served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservatives, before becoming whip in the leadership shuffle that followed the surprise defeat of then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary.

In his whip campaign, he boasted about his conservative credentials and pointed out that he’d be the only GOP leader from the South, which had a major role in giving Republicans their largest House majority in decades.

At the time of the shooting, the lawmakers were preparing for an annual congressional game scheduled for Thursday night.

Scalise, who was shot in the hip, was transported to MedStar Washington and underwent surgery.

“Prior to entering surgery, the whip 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,” his office said in a statement.

Scalise has forged a close relationship with President Donald Trump, working together on the House health care bill and a pending effort to overhaul the tax code.

Trump, in remarks from the White House, called Scalise “a very good friend” and said, “He’s a patriot, and he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault.”

As the No. 3 House Republican, Scalise has a security detail assigned to him at all times. Lawmakers who were at the practice said the shootings could have been much worse if the security detail had not been there.

Scalise represents a district that includes some New Orleans suburbs and bayou parishes. Before entering Congress, he was a lawmaker in Louisiana for eight years. His signature legislation included a film industry tax credit program aimed at helping Louisiana become “Hollywood South” and a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.

As a state lawmaker, Scalise built relationships with people of diverse views, even as he maintained a rock-solid conservative voting record. One of his closest friends remains Rep. Cedric Richmond, a New Orleans Democrat who leads the Congressional Black Caucus and befriended Scalise when the two were both in the state House.

Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., described Scalise as a great leader who is the go-to person for the state’s congressional delegation.

“Any time we need anything, we go to Steve and he makes it happen,” Abraham said.

Scalise faced questions last year about some of his Louisiana ties. Six months after his election as whip, it came to light that he had spoken in 2002 to a white supremacist group founded by Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise apologized for the speech and said he was unaware of the group’s racial philosophy when he agreed to speak as a state legislator.

“I reject bigotry of all forms,” Scalise said then.

A fun-loving, unabashed champion for Louisiana’s culture and food, Scalise is known as someone who likes to have a good time just as much as he likes rough-and-tumble politics. He returns to the Louisiana legislature every year during session to revisit the House and Senate chambers where he once worked and mingle with his former colleagues, quick with hugs and handshakes.

Scalise is so unassuming and low-key that Louisiana politicians have often joked about his security detail.

“I’ve seen him a couple of times like in the Superdome and I often wondered, ‘Well, why in the hell did he have all those security people with him?” said Louisiana Senate President John Alario.

“I see why now,” Alario added. “It was an abundance of caution. I’m glad they did it.”

Matt Rudiger, a 45-year-old salesman who was at a Metairie, Louisiana, coffee shop near Scalise’s district office, said the shooting “really hit close to home” because he and Scalise both graduated from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie.

“We’re all brothers. I feel like it happened to one of us,” Rudiger said.

Paul Taylor Sr., who was at the same coffee shop, said the shooting makes him worried that politicians are becoming targets of gunmen. “They’re getting into shooting down more well-known people now – more important people to the political system,” he said.

Scalise and his wife, Jennifer, have two children.

WASHINGTON (CBS News) — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, officials said. His wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.

Alexandria police said a suspect in the shooting was in custody.

“This is a stable situation,” Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown told reporters. “At this point, there is no additional threat.”

CBS News has learned that Scalise was shot in the hip. At least four others were also shot, including the gunman, two Capitol Police officers and a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. Williams was not injuried in the incident.

Brown said five people were transported from the scene for medical reasons, but he wouldn’t provide details on their conditions.

President Trump said on Twitter that Scalise “was badly injured but will fully recover.”

Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne was working out in the gym when he got word of the shooting.

He took to Twitter to express his thoughts.

In a statement earlier, Mr. Trump said he and Vice President Mike Pence were monitoring developments closely.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” Mr. Trump said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said several other people also were hit, including two law enforcement officers. Brooks said that Scalise, 51, was down on the ground with what Brooks described as “a hip wound.”

Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., said Scalise was standing on second base when he was shot.

“I was looking right at him,” Bishop told CBS Detroit radio station WWJ. “He was a sitting duck.”

Brooks said the Scalise “crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood.”

“We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip,” Brooks said.

The practice was for a bipartisan baseball game scheduled for Thursday. According to a source, when Democratic members of Congress practicing at a different ballfield miles away heard of the shooting, they immediately stopped and said a prayer together, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.

Scalise is the No. 3 House Republican leader. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.

Rep. Jeff Duncan said in a statement that he was at the practice and “saw the shooter.”

“Please pray for my colleagues,” Duncan said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said Scalise’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening and that a member of the security detail was also shot.

The office of Rep. Scalise sent down the following statement regarding the shooting:

This morning, at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game, Whip Scalise was shot in the hip. He was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he is currently undergoing surgery. He is in stable condition.

Prior to entering surgery, the Whip 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.

We ask that you keep the Whip and others harmed in this incident in your thoughts and prayers.”

Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) sent down the following tweet Wednesday morning:

This is a developing story.

 

 

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