Congressional staffer, House whip and police among those wounded when gunman opens fire at baseball practice

Joshua Roberts—Reuters
Police investigate a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) released a statement Wednesday morning that one of his staffers was among those shot when a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington, D.C. early on Wednesday morning. “At approximately 7 a.m. this morning an armed gunman arrived at baseball practice and opened fire,” said the press release from Williams’ office. “Congressman Williams was not shot, however a member of his staff was shot and is receiving medical attention. The gunman has been detained and at this time we do not have any further information but will continue to release it as it comes to the surface.” House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise was also among those shot. Republican Senator Jeff Flake told local ABC-TV Scalise was shot in the left hip. Flake also said the gunman was shot. Five people were transported medically from the scene in Alexandria, the city’s police chief, Michael Brown told reporters. Two of the wounded were Capitol Hill police who were at the scene, witnesses said.In a dramatic blow-by-blow account, Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama told CNN the gunman was armed with a rifle and appeared to be a white male.Brooks said he saw the man only for a second, and that he was shooting from a chain link fence behind the third base position on the field where the congressional group was holding an early morning morning practice ahead of a game against Democrats this week.”I hear Steve Scalise over near second base scream. He was shot,” Brooks told CNN, adding he helped apply a tourniquet with his belt to a congressional staffer who was shot in the leg.”One of our security detail was shooting back, but it was our pistol versus the shooter’s rifle,” Brooks said. “The only weapon I had was a baseball bat.”U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Twitter message that Scalise, “a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”Scalise’s position as whip in the Republican-controlled House makes him one of the most senior figures in Congress. He is a representative from Louisiana.The group were practicing for the annual Democrats versus Republicans congressional baseball game that was scheduled to be played on Thursday.’GOING AFTER ELECTED OFFICIALS'”It’s pretty well known in the neighborhood who those folks are on the baseball field,” Brooks said. “It’s not a secret we are practicing … He was going after elected officials.”Democrats were also practicing at another field at a different location, CNN reported.Reba Winstead lives across the street from the parking lot of the park where the shooting occurred.”I was on my front porch and that is when I heard the first round of shots. There was about a dozen shots. There was a pause. Then there was more shooting. I called 911.”President Trump said in a statement that he and Vice President Mike Pence were monitoring developments closely.”We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected,” he said.Steve Scalise is the third-highest ranked member of the Republican leadership in the House, and has the difficult job of trying to keep order in the fractious party ranks and rounding up votes for bills. Reuters News Service contributed to this report.