A gunman opened fire early this morning at a park in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican lawmakers and aides were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game. Scalise, the House majority whip and the third-highest ranking Republican in the lower chamber, is among those who were shot. Another victim was identified as a staffer for Texas Rep. Roger Williams. Two people are reportedly in critical condition; early reports suggest that a total of five people were injured in the shooting.
Because of his position in the House of Representatives, Scalise has a security detail. Early reports indicate that the Capitol Police officers accompanying Scalise were essential in stopping this attack. “My understanding [is] that’s where our security detail ... still defending us, took him down,” Congressman Mo Brooks told CNN. “Once we got the all-clear that the shooter was down, we went out to the outfield for Steve Scalise, he had crawled out in the outfield leaving a trail of blood.”
“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre. ... We had no weapons and no place to hide,” Senator Rand Paul told MSNBC. Both Brooks and Paul reported that over 50 shots were fired.