Local lawmakers respond to baseball practice shooting

Emani Payne

Four people were wounded Wednesday when a gunman opened fire on Republicans gathered for practice on a baseball field outside Washington ahead of Thursday's annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The gunman, identified by law enforcement as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was shot dead by police.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and hurt -- along with a staffer (Zachary Barth) for Central Texas Representative Roger Williams. Also shot and injured was Matt Mika, who is employed by Tyson Foods. Two Capitol Police Officers -- Crystal Griner and David Bailey -- were also hurt. Officials said one was shot and wounded, while the other suffered minor, non-shooting injuries during the mayhem.

Texas Representatives Roger Williams, Joe Barton, Kevin Brady and Mike Conaway were there when shots rang out.

Representative Bill Flores said a colleague who was at the practice told him the gunman asked if the baseball players were democrats or republicans.

"There's been an increasing level of hostile rhetoric and threatening rhetoric since the election," Flores said. "And, I think this is sort of a wake up call as to how you can take that angst and that anger and go too far."

Flores said security for lawmakers was increased after the election -- adding that he was on high alert Wednesday because he believed a copycat attack could be possible.

Flores said the mood in Washington was sober Wednesday, and there was a clear showing of unity between both sides of the aisle.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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