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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

A gunman opened fire on Wednesday at Republican lawmakers’ baseball practice before the annual congressional game, injuring five people, including one member of Congress, and casting a shadow over one of the most bipartisan events in Washington.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), a staffer in Rep. Roger Williams’ (R-TX) office, a lobbyist and two Capitol police officers were injured in the shooting. Here’s what we know about them so far.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)

Scalise was shot in the hip and transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. His condition was not clear. Scalise’s office announced Wednesday morning that he was “in good spirits” and “stable condition.”

The hospital tweeted in the afternoon, however, that Scalise “was critically injured and remains in critical condition.”

Scalise played baseball in high school, the New York Times reported, and is a “fixture” at congressional baseball practices.

“Steve loves and passionately looks forward to that congressional baseball game,” Jason Hebert, a Republican consultant who worked with the majority whip, told the New York Times. “He has a real love for baseball. This was a real big source of pride and enjoyment for him.”

Congressional staffer Zack Barth

Barth, a legislative correspondent in Rep. Roger Williams’ (R-TX) office, said in a Facebook post that he was shot but is “in the hospital and okay.”

Williams confirmed Wednesday morning that Barth was shot “but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Barth previously worked on Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika

Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson confirmed on Wednesday that Mika was injured in the shooting and transported to a local hospital.

“We’re awaiting word on his condition,” Mickelson said in a statement.

Mika’s family said in a statement that he “was shot multiple times.”

“Baseball is one of his great passions,” the statement read. “He has always loved the Congressional team.”

Capitol police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Wednesday identified the two Capitol police officers injured while responding to the shooting and said he expressed “profound gratitude” to Bailey and Griner.

“One was being treated and one was about to go into surgery,” Ryan said, but did not further specify their conditions.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa told reporters that both were “in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point.”

Bailey worked as a Capitol police officer for nine years, according to his LinkedIn page, and previously worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

President Donald Trump thanked both officers for their “heroic actions.”

“Our brave Capitol police perform a challenging job with incredible skill,” Trump said, speaking from the White House after the shooting. “Their sacrifice makes democracy possible.”

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday condemned the actions of a shooter who opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice earlier in the morning, and who reportedly worked for Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

In a statement he tweeted and read on the Senate floor, Sanders said he was “sickened” by the gunman’s actions.

“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said. “I am sickened by this despicable act.”

A friend of James T. Hodgkinson, the man identified as the suspected gunman, on Wednesday told the Washington Post that he and Hodgkinson met while working on Sanders’ 2016 campaign in Iowa.

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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on Wednesday said the annual congressional baseball game will go on after a gunman opened fire at Republican lawmakers’ practice session earlier in the morning.

“The congressional baseball game is going on tomorrow night and it should,” McSally told reporters. “And that was a standing ovation when that was announced.”

Several reports identified the individual suspected of opening fire at Republican lawmakers’ baseball practice Wednesday morning as James T. Hodgkinson.

Police said five people were “transported medically” from the scene of the shooting, and President Donald Trump told reporters that the suspected gunman died of injuries he sustained during the shooting.

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A friend of the man identified as the suspect in a shooting Wednesday morning at a Republican congressional baseball practice described him as a political progressive who volunteered on Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

Multiple reports identified the suspected gunman as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, Illinois.

Charles Orear, a 60-year-old from St. Louis, told the Washington Post on Wednesday that he met Hodgkinson while working on Sanders’ campaign in Iowa.

“He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics,” Orear said. “He was more on the really progressive side of things.”

He said Hodgkinson was a “quiet guy” and expressed surprise when told about the shooting: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

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The FBI on Wednesday said it was “too early to tell” if Republican members of congress were targeted by a gunman who fired at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring five people.

“Too early to tell if they were targeted or not,” FBI agent Tim Slater, who is in charge of the bureau’s Washington field office, told reporters at a press conference.

“Can you say yes, whether you think there is a political motivation in the shooting?” a reporter asked.

“No. Not aware of that. At all,” Slater replied.

“Are you saying that this could have been random?” another reporter pressed.

“Don’t know,” Slater said. “It’s really early in the investigation.”

Alexandria police announced Wednesday morning that the FBI will take over the investigation into the shooting.

Slater initially said that the shooting was “not an assassination attempt” but later revised that statement.

“It’s too early to say in the investigation to say one way or other,” he said. “If I said that, I misspoke.”

 

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Alexandria Police Chief Mike Brown announced Wednesday that the FBI will take over the investigation into a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice that injured five people.

“Because this case involves the assault on a federal officer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be taking over the investigation,” Brown said. “We are embedded and assisting the FBI along with other agencies that are trying to deal with this particular scene and this investigation of this incident.”

Law enforcement officials said there are no indications that the gunman who fired at a Republican congressional baseball team practice on Wednesday had any ties to international terrorism, NBC News and the Washington Post reported.

An unnamed law enforcement official told the Washington Post that “initial indications from the scene” did not suggest the shooter had ties to international terrorism, but noted that investigators are still at work.

Lawmakers described the suspect, who is in custody, as a middle-aged white wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.

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Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) on Wednesday said the shooting that injured five people at a Republican congressional baseball team practice in Virginia lasted about 10 minutes.

The shooting lasted “five to 10 minutes. There were dozens if not hundreds of shots fired,” Barton said on MSNBC. “It was scary.”

He said those on the field took cover.

“Some of us were in the dugout, some of us were on the ground,” Barton said. “I was behind the dugout.”

He described the shooter as “a middle-aged man, blue jeans and a blue shirt.”

“I think he was anglo,” Barton said, meaning Anglo-Saxon. “And he had a rifle and I think he had an automatic pistol but I wouldn’t swear to it.”

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