A shooting at a GOP baseball game in Virginia, which left 5 prominent Republicans injured and threw Capitol Hill into a security frenzy, coincides with President Trump’s 71st birthday.
The original plan for the day for POTUS was to embark on a trip to the Department of Labor to deliver remarks at the Apprenticeship Initiative Kickoff, then to sign an Executive Order. These plans were thwarted by the shooting at the congressional baseball game in Virginia. Whether or not the shooting was inspired to be in correlation with President Trump’s birthday or if the timing was merely coincidental is still up for debate.
Several high-ranking Republicans, including Steve Scalise – the majority whip, were injured and taken to a hospital to receive treatment. Those in presence at the charity baseball game were GOP politicians as well as their aides, and many had their family members in attendance as well. The 25 Republican members were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, in which Democratic House members face off against Republican House members, and is scheduled for this coming Thursday. There are no reports yet as to whether or not this game will go as planned, but there will certainly be a higher degree of security presence.
The gunman, described as middle-aged, and “Anglo” looking, opened fire with a rifle up to 50 times before he was stopped by Capitol Police. Many are praising the speed and agility of the security present for the low level of impact the shooter had.
“I think that with absolute certainty nobody would have survived without Capitol Police. Just incredibly brave,” Senator Rand Paul told CNN, “the Capitol Hill Police cannot get enough praise for really saving everyone’s life out there”.
Repercussions from the shooting have resulted in Capitol Hill increasing security, and several prescheduled meetings and events being cancelled. Of such events was the the hearing on Jeff Duncan’s bill to deregulate gun silencers, being housed by The House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee. Today’s shooting is only fuel to the fire that has been raging regarding gun control legislature in the U.S. over the past few years.
The president and vice president have both been briefed on the situation in and the President has already spoken to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the wife of Rep. Steve Scalise, the Chief of Staff to Rep. Steve Scalise, and the Chief of the Capitol Police. The President is expected to make a statement shortly.
President Trump spoke in the Diplomatic Reception room for a few minutes at 11:30 AM, first expressing his condolences for those injured by the shooting, then praising the quick actions taken by Capitol and Alexandria Police to protect the safety of those present. He also announced the death of the assailant, and said two Capitol Police officers were injured in the exchanges of gunfire. POTUS also said the FBI is leading probe and updates on the investigation will be forthcoming. Trump also called for unity and said:
“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like this.”
“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans.”
This story is breaking and will be updated as more news comes in.