Local lawmakers react to Alexandria shooting
TRI-CITIES, Wash. – Moments were tense at the U.S. capital Wednesday after an ambush at a ballpark in Virginia. A gunman, armed with an assault rifle, aiming for republican lawmakers who were defenseless.
We now know security officers at the ballpark shot and killed the gunman. Here is some of the latest information from authorities.
We know Republican House Whip, Steve Scalise is out of surgery but remains fighting for his life in critical condition.
The shooter was 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Officials said the shooting appears to be a deliberate attack.
Action News reached out to our Washington lawmakers regarding this terrifying shooting. Reaction to the shooting poured in quickly as news of the attack dominated headlines.
Local lawmakers said this shooting was terrible news to wake up to this morning, adding that this incident hits very close to home for all legislators on Capitol Hill.
"It's an unbelievable situation right here in the nation’s capital at an innocent baseball practice," Congressman Dan Newhouse said.
Local lawmakers are still in shock in the wake of Wednesday's shooting of Congressman Scalise, congressional staff and Capitol Police.
"This side of the capitol is obviously sending our thoughts and prayers to our colleagues in the house of representatives, particularly Congressman Scalise and to the other wounded law enforcement individuals and staff, our hearts and prayers go out to those individuals too," Sen. Maria Cantwell said.
Both Congressman Newhouse and Sen. Cantwell said this is a reminder we live in a contentious time, yet they are grateful for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the nation’s capital.
"We are under very good protection here by the Capitol Police force in Washington, D.C.,” Newhouse said. “They do a tremendous job and again I'm just thankful that there were a couple of members of that force with the group this morning or else it could have turned out much worse."
"These men and women who protect us in our nation’s capital do an outstanding job,” Cantwell said. “We really want to make sure that they understand how important it is and how much we appreciate their protection of us and the security they provide everyone here in the capitol."
Governor Inslee is traveling in-state Wednesday, and wasn’t available for an interview, but provided a statement on shooting in Virginia saying:
"This morning's news was a shock to wake up to. Trudi and I, along with all Washingtonians, send our thoughts to Congressman Scalise, the Capitol Police officers, Congressional staff and others injured and who witnessed this horrific act. We hope for a speedy and full recovery for all."
Other legislators immediately shared their condolences via Twitter in response to the attack.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers tweeted:
"Horrifying news of @stevescalise, aides, & @capitolpolice shooting. Join me praying for him, his wife Jennifer, kids, staff & all involved"
Patty Murray also took to twitter, saying:
“I am shocked and devastated to hear about this appalling act of violence and cowardice in Virginia this morning,” Senator Patty Murray said. “My thoughts are with Congressman Scalise and others who were injured in this attack, especially the Capitol Police officers who put themselves in harm’s way and work every single day to keep us safe.”
Washington State legislators send a similar message—all saddened by Wednesday's events—but together they will push forward.
Scalise and other lawmakers were on the baseball field practicing for a charity baseball game at the time of the attack.
Officials announced that the congressional game is still on for Thursday.