Wednesday, June 14, 2017

BREAKING: Mass Shooter Reportedly Asked ‘Are Those Republicans?’ Before Shooting Congressman, Cops


(ZH) Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop tells WWJ Newsradio 950 he was attending the practice around 5:30 a.m., just outside of Alexandria, when shots rang out. He said he and his colleagues were “sitting ducks.”


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Source - The Free Thought Project

by Tyler Durden, June 14th, 2017
“As we were standing here this morning, a gunman walked up to the fence line and just began to shoot. I was standing at home plate and he was in the third base line,” Bishop said. “He had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out, multiple casualties, and he had several rounds and magazines that he kept unloading and reloading.”

More than 50 shots were fired, according to CBS News, with some accounts putting the number closer to 100. Four people were injured, including two Capitol Hill police officers and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The suspect was also shot.

“The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover. We were inside the backstop and if we didn’t have that cover by a brave person who stood up and took a shot themselves, we would not have gotten out of there and every one of us would have been hit — every single one of us,” said Bishop. “He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank.”




Bishop was uninjured. General Jack Bergman, who represents northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, and John Moolenaar, from Midland, were also at the practice; both uninjured. Democratic members of Congress were practicing at a different field, miles away.

“Two of our staff was hit, Steve Scalise was hit on second base, I watched him get hit and I couldn’t do anything to help him. We tried to get him off as fast as we could but this guy was relentless with his fire,” he said. “One of our staffers got hit in the chest and I pray for him, I just don’t know what the outcome is going to be. This is a tragic situation and frankly, it’s changed everything as I know it forever.”
A suspect, who received at least one gunshot, is believed to be in custody. Bishop said the man didn’t speak a word.

“He stood there silently. None of us saw him walk up,” he said. “One of our coaches had his son, his 11-year-old son — I have an 11-year-old son, too, who’s supposed to be here — and I am just, I can’t even tell you, I don’t know. Fortunately everybody’s OK. It’s just traumatic.”

* * *

Update: Virginia Police have confirmed the suspect is in custody and is no longer a threat. According to RealClearPolitics reports Rebecca Berg, Rep. Jeff Duncan plans to give a statement to police regarding a conversation he had with the shooter before leaving practice early. The man is said to have been wearing running clothes, and asked Duncan: “Are those Republicans or Democrats out there practicing?” Per source familiar.
Trump has issued a statement on the shooting saying, “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy.”
* * *

As we detailed earlier, at least five people have been shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise – the third ranking Republican – and aides, during a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday, Fox News confirmed. The shots were reported on East Monroe Street in Del Ray, Alexandria police said on Twitter at 7:30 a.m. The location was near a YMCA.



An injured Steve Scalise is shown being carried away on a stretcher.


More breaking headlines:
  • BROOKS: APPEARS SOME SECURITY DETAIL MEMBERS WERE INJURED
  • BROOKS SAYS SECURITY DETAIL SHOT BACK AT ASSAILANT
  • BROOKS: HELICOPTER LANDED ON FIELD TO TRANSPORT INJURED
  • BROOKS: AT LEAST 5 INJURED, INCL. SCALISE, STAFFER, 2 GUARDS
  • SEN. PAUL WITNESSED SHOOTING, HEARD `RAPID SUCCESSION OF SHOTS’
  • SEN. PAUL: `I PROBABLY HEARD 50, 60 SHOTS’
  • PAUL: EVERYONE LIKELY WOULD HAVE DIED IF NOT FOR CAPITOL POLICE
  • PAUL: LOOKED LIKE SCALISE SHOT IN LEG OR HIP
  • PAUL: CAPITOL HILL POLICE PREVENTED A ‘MASSACRE’ ON FIELD
  • SEN. PAUL SAYS DECISION WAS ‘STAY OR RUN’ DURING SHOOTING
  • SEN. RAND PAUL WAS IN BATTING CAGE DURING SHOOTING
  • INJURED GUNMAN IN CONGRESS MEMBER SHOOTING APPREHENDED: FOX
A reporter from the Huffington Post tweeted that a congressman said he “heard there was a shooting at the Congressional baseball game practice field.” ABC 7 News reported “multiple shooting” in the 400 block of E. Monroe Street.




“Both @POTUS & @VP are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

Scalise, 51, is the House majority whip. He has represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District since 2008 and chairs the House Republican Study Committee. He is married with two children. Scalise’s district includes New Orleans.

According a report from Rep. Mo Brooke, who said he was not shot, more than 50 rifle shots were fired.
“We used my belt to help put a tourniquet around his leg,” says witness @RepMoBrooks of Alexandria shooting victim.
Brooks adds that a helicopter landed in center field and took one of the wounded to a hospital, Rep. Brooks said




Here is the full list of those present at the practice:

Police tweeted they “believed” the gunman was in custody. Sen. Mike Lee told Fox News, however, the gunman was dead. He said a staffer used a belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.


Source - CNN




Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, congressional staffer shot in Virginia shooting

by Tal Kopan and Eric Bradner, June 14th, 2017

Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were shot Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, in what sources are calling an apparent "deliberate attack."

Scalise, the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, appeared to have been shot in the hip and it appeared two Capitol Hill police agents were shot, according to Rep. Mo Brooks, who told CNN he was on deck when the shooting occurred. A congressional staffer was also injured.

As of 9:45 a.m. ET, Scalise was in stable condition but undergoing surgery, according to a statement from his office.




"Prior to entering surgery, the whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone," the statement said. "He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders and colleagues."
The shooting took place at a practice for the GOP congressional baseball team. According to both congressional and law enforcement sources, the shooting appears to be a "deliberate attack."

In a statement, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, one of the team's coaches, said one of his staff members, legislative correspondent Zack Barth, was shot during the incident and is receiving medical attention. Williams tweeted Barth was "receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery."

The Capitol Police officers who were injured are "in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point," Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at the news conference.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN the shooter, who is in police custody, has been taken to a hospital.

It's too early to tell whether the shooting was an act of terrorism or whether members of Congress were specifically targeted, Tim Slater, the FBI special agent in charge, told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference.

"It's too early to say. It's really raw at this moment," Slater said.

Members of Congress were practicing for a game that was scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park. It was not immediately clear whether it would go on as scheduled. The annual game has been played since 1909.




Lawmakers describe a chaotic scene


Lawmakers who spoke at the scene to reporters described a normal morning practice, at a field where they've practiced for years, when all of a sudden shots rang out. Lawmakers, staff members and even the young son of one of the members ran for cover, jumping into dugouts and over fences to avoid the gunshots.

Members described Scalise dragging himself roughly 15 yards away from second base, where he had been playing, and lying there until the shooter was neutralized, at which point some of them ran to assist him and apply pressure to the wound until he could be evacuated. Once they were able, Sen. Jeff Flake said he and Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who is a physician, went out to where Scalise was lying to apply pressure to the wound. Scalise was coherent the whole time, Flake said.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told CNN "it would have been a massacre" without Capitol Hill Police.
"Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police," Paul said on CNN. "It would have been a massacre without them."

"We had nothing but baseball bats to fight back against a rifle with," Brooks said.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake added that he saw a member of Scalise's security detail return fire on the gunman for what felt like 10 minutes, even though the police officer was wounded in the leg.
"50 (shots) would be an understatement, I'm quite sure," Flake said when asked about the total amount of gunfire, including police returning fire.

Brooks said the shooter appeared to be a white male but added that "I saw him for a second or two." He said the shooter was behind the third base dugout and didn't say anything.

"The gun was a semiautomatic," Brooks said, adding that he was sure it was a rifle but unsure what kind. "It continued to fire at different people. You can imagine, all the people on the field scatter."



Capitol Hill increases security, cancels events

The news of the shooting reverberated on Capitol Hill, where security was increased and regular proceedings were canceled or postponed.

The House decided to not hold any votes on legislation Wednesday, and many hearings were delayed. The House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee also canceled a scheduled meeting to debate gun legislation.

Capitol Hill Police notified congressional offices that the security presence on the Hill would be increased "out of an abundance of caution."

President Donald Trump also canceled an afternoon event at the Department of Labor.

Virginia Rep. Dave Brat told CNN that he learned of the news in the gym, and that members were all standing by for more information as the news unfolded.

The Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives, Paul Irving, is scheduled to brief House members on Capitol Hill in the 11 a.m. ET hour.

Trump tweets on the incident

The President is monitoring the situation, the White House said in a statement.

"The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely," Trump said in a statement. "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."

Trump subsequently tweeted, "Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are safe on Capitol Hill and receiving updates, aides tell CNN. Neither was at the practice.




Scalise is the first member of Congress to be shot since former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in January 2011. Giffords was shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner at a "Congress On Your Corner" event at a Tucson grocery store. Giffords, who authorities said was the main target of the shooting, survived the attack but six others were killed and an additional 12 were injured.

Loughner pleaded guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This story is breaking and will be updated.

CNN's Phil Mattingly, Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, Eugene Scott, Peter Morris, Karl deVries and Noa Yadidi contributed to this report.
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