According to news reports, Republican House majority whip Rep. Steve Scalise was shot in Virginia Wednesday morning in what sources told CNN was a "deliberate attack" on a GOP congressional baseball team's practice. However, early investigations suggest that the shooting was likely not international terrorism, The Washington Post reported.
At the time of writing, the most up-to-date information about Scalise's condition was that he was in stable condition and undergoing surgery. "Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone," an official statement about Scalise's condition read. Sen. Jeff Flake told CNN that Scalise was coherent even after being shot.
The Washington Post reported that two individuals involved in the incident were in critical condition but being cared for at George Washington University Hospital. According to media reports, Scalise, a congressional staffer, and members of the Capitol Police were harmed in the shooting.
"Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover," President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the incident. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him."
Eyewitness accounts from other GOP lawmakers paint a potentially gruesome scene. Rep. Mo Brooks said that it seemed like the weapon used by the shooter was a semiautomatic rifle. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said it would've been a "massacre" without government protection. "Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police," he told CNN. "It would have been a massacre without them."
According to a local Alexandria police spokesperson, the police department received a call of shots fired nine minutes after 7 a.m. Arriving within three minutes of the call, Alexandria police reportedly returned the shooter's fire. The spokesperson wouldn't elaborate as the scene is still under investigation.
Upon his return to Capitol Hill, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the baseball team's coach who was unharmed, told reporters about the incident. "We had a shooter come out to practice," Barton said. "He started shooting. He shot at Trent Kelly, our third baseman, he shot at Steve Scalise, our second baseman. He hit Steve Scalise. Scalise's security detail and Capitol Hill Police immediately began to return fire."
According to Barton, the shooting lasted five to 10 minutes. And there were "dozens if not hundreds" of shots fired at the GOP congressional baseball team. "I think the security detail saved a lot of lives because they attacked the shooter," he said. "So the heroes are the Capitol Hill Police, Alexandria Police and Steve Scalise's security detail."