Two staff members at Rep. Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA) district office in Fairfax were attacked by a person armed with a baseball bat on Monday, according to a statement released by the congressman.
“This morning, an individual entered my District Office armed with a baseball bat and asked for me before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff. The individual is in police custody and both members of my team were transferred to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Connolly said in a Monday statement.
The suspect has been identified as 49-year old Xuan Kha Tran Pham of Fairfax, Virginia, according to a joint statement from the Capitol Police and the Fairfax City Police Department.
He is facing charges for one count of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of malicious wounding, law enforcement said.
They added the suspect is in custody but it is not clear what the suspect’s motivation may have been.
Connolly said the attacker hit one senior aide on the head and an intern — who was on her first day on the job — on the side with a metal bat, according to CNN’s Manu Raju.
The attacker — who is a constituent from the district but who Connolly told CNN he doesn’t know — also caused damage in the office, shattering glass in a conference room and breaking computers.
“He was filled with out of control rage,” Connolly told Raju.
“I have the best team in Congress. My District Office staff make themselves available to constituents and members of the public every day. The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating,” Connolly added in his public statement.
The attack comes amid the April testimony from Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger about the increase in threats to lawmakers across the country.
“One of the biggest challenges we face today is dealing with the sheer increase in the number of threats against Members of Congress— approximately 400% over the past 6 years,” Manger said last month. “Over the course of the last year, the world has continuously changed, becoming more violent and uncertain.”