Congressional Baseball games continues despite Virginia shooting
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KUSI) — The annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity will continue as scheduled, despite a targeted shooting of Republican lawmakers participating in the game the day before that left five injured.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others were injured when a gunman, identified as 66-year-old James Hodgekinson of Illinois, opened fire at the Republican team’s practice at a baseball field in Virginia Wednesday morning. Witnesses said about 50 to 100 rounds of ammunition were unloaded on the group of lawmakers and aids in what the FBI is investigating as a deliberate political attack.
Capitol Hill police officers, who were on hand because of Scalise’ high ranking in the House, returned fire and shot Hodgekinson. He died at a hospital Wednesday.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Scalise at MedStar Washington Hospital Center Wednesday evening, where he remained in critical condition. During the visit, the president also thanked Captiol police officers for their service.
Scalise is expected to require several more surgeries. A bullet struck his pelvis, fractured bones and injured internal organs, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He suffered severe bleeding.
Zachary Barth, a congressional staffer for Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, and a Capitol Hill police officer, Crystal Griner, were also hospitalized for injuries sustained in the shooting. Matt Mika, a former congressional staffer for Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg and currently works as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, remains hospitalized in critical condition. Another Capitol Hill police officer, suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized, according to authorities.
"[Barth is] a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game," His family said in a statement.
Funds raised from the baseball game at Nationals Park go to D.C. area charities including The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. The game scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST has been played as a show of bi-partisanship since 1901.