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Police exchange fire with gunman who opened fire on members of Congress practicing for upcoming charity baseball game

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Congressman Steve Scalise Congressman Steve Scalise
(NBC News) -

A gunman is dead and five people, including a United States Congressmen, are wounded following an early morning shooting on an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field.

The gunman, identified by investigators as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Representative Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, suffered a bullet wound to the hip.  Two Capitol Police officers, a Republican staffer, and a lobbyist were also wounded.

Scalise and dozens of Republican Congressmen and staffers were practicing for an upcoming congressional baseball game.

"We were doing batting practice and then all of a sudden we heard shots and uh it was clear pretty quickly that there was a shooter there with a high-powered rifle," said Senator Jeff Flake.

Witnesses say Hodgkinson sprayed the field with bullets, firing dozens of rounds.

Rep. Scalise, a member of Congressional leadership, had a security detail who rushed in and engaged the gunman in a firefight that lasted several minutes.

"The security detail saved a lot of lives," said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who was at the practice with his two young sons.

Hodgkinson died as a result of wounds from the gun battle.
  
Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2sbuC5d 


Previous story:
A gunman is dead after opening fire on a congressional baseball practice early Wednesday morning, wounding Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and three others.

Federal law enforcement officials identified the gunman as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

Witnesses say Hodgkinson asked "Are these Republicans or Democrats?" shortly before the shooting.

Two Capitol Police officers and a lobbyist for Tyson Foods were also wounded.

The Capitol Police officers, members of Rep. Scalise's security detail, immediately returned fire.

Speaking at the White House after the shooting, President Trump praised the quick response of law enforcement officers and issued a call for unity.

"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 above all because we love our country," Mr. Trump said.

Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2rw09gm


Previous story: 

NBC News is reporting the gunman in the Virginia shooting at a congressional baseball practice has been identified as a 66-year-old man from Illinois.

James T. Hodgkinson allegedly opened fire on the baseball practice, injuring at least one member of the House of Representatives - Rep. Steve Scalise.

In a statement made by President Trump, the President says Hodgkinson has died from his injuries. 


Previous story:
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people were shot Wednesday morning in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, NBC News has confirmed. 

The five injured include two Capitol Police officers and the gunman, who was shot by police who responded to the scene, said Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown. 

A congressional aide said Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital.

The shooting happened in the 400 block of E. Monroe Street. The shooting happened during a baseball practice for congressional Republicans. 

Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted early Wednesday that she had spoken to Capitol Police and that the officers "will be ok."

The Congressional baseball team practices daily at the park and several other congress members were at the park, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Witnesses described a terrifying scene, with a gunman who reloaded on the scene and the wounded congressman "screaming for help."

“Scalise was on second base, and was crawling out, leaving a trail of blood,” said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., in an interview on CNN.

He was helped by other members of Congress, including Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. He "started doing what you need to do to stop the blood loss,” Brooks said.

President Trump issued a statement: "Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are 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."

Watch Live: Multiple shootings in Alexandra, Virginia

Tune into NBC News for updates. 

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