Monday May 28th, 2018 1:16AM

The Latest: Pence speaks with victims of ballpark shooting

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (all times local):

8 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has been speaking with the victims of Wednesday morning's attack on a Congressional Republican baseball practice.

Pence's office says he spoke with the two injured members of the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as the father of lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot multiple times.

Pence also touched base with the Capitol Police chief and a number of lawmakers, including Rep. Roger Williams of Texas. Williams said at a press conference that Pence had spoken with his injured staffer, Zachary Barth.

The White House said shortly after the shooting that President Donald Trump had spoken with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, injured Rep. Steve Scalise's wife and chief of staff, and the chief of the Capitol Police.


5:28 p.m.

Family members of Matt Mika says he suffered multiple gunshot wounds and remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition after surgery.

Mika was wounded Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a baseball practice, injuring a congressman and others.

His family said in a statement late Wednesday that they expect Mika to remain hospitalized for at least several days. The family said, "we continue to be in disbelief that he would be part of this heinous attack."

Mika is a former aide to Michigan Republican congressman Tim Walberg. He is director of government relations for Tyson Foods Washington, D.C., office and has worked for the company for more than six years.

Mika's family described him as "a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game."


4:28 p.m.

The heads of security and law enforcement for the House and Senate say there is no direct threat to the Capitol complex but are warning people who work there to be vigilant.

The Capitol Police Board, including the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police chief, said in a notice Wednesday that if "something looks amiss, or you receive threatening communication, please do not hesitate to bring it to someone's attention."

The message came after an attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice, wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others.

The members of the board commended Capitol Police at the scene and other first responders for their "immediate and decisive actions."


4:00 p.m.

The FBI says it's investigating the social media presence and motives of the Illinois man suspected in a shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others.

The FBI on Wednesday confirmed the gunman's identity as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Officials say they're investigating Hodgkinson's whereabouts, associates, web postings and "potential motivations."

Authorities are searching his home in Illinois.

The FBI says five people overall were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds, including the shooter, Scalise, a Capitol Police officer, a congressional staffer and a lobbyist. Another congressman suffered minor injuries. Hodgksinson later died.

Meanwhile, the Capitol Police says one of its officers is in good condition after having been shot in the ankle and another was treated and released with a minor injury.


3:40 p.m.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney received a threatening email shortly after a man opened fire on members of Congress and others on a baseball field.

The subject line read, "One down, 216 to go..."

That's according to the New York Republican's spokeswoman, Hannah Andrews, who said her office alerted Capitol Police.

There are 238 Republicans in the House, but 217 voted for a bill that would repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health law. It was unclear whether the email writer was referring to that vote.


2:54 p.m.

A Washington hospital says the congressman shot during a baseball practice is in critical condition following surgery.

MedStar Washington said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that Rep. Steve Scalise "was critically injured and remains in critical condition." It provided no further details about him.

Scalise was among several people wounded when a rifle-wielding attacker fired on Republican lawmakers on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. The attacker was shot and later died.

The hospital said another victim of the shooting is in good condition. It did not identify the victim.


1:10 p.m.

George Washington University Hospital says one of the two patients it was treating following the shooting at a congressional baseball practice has died while the other remains in critical condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Griffiths did not identify either patient, but President Donald Trump had just announced that the shooter had died of his injuries.

Louisiana congressman Steve Scalise underwent surgery for a gunshot to the hip and was in stable condition.

Capitol Police officers who were in his security detail had wounded the shooter. Two of those officers also were wounded and both were expected to recover.

The fifth person wounded in the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning was a former congressional aide, who now works for Tysons Food.


1:05 p.m.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is calling a shooting at a congressional baseball practice a "senseless and cowardly attack."

Rosenstein says in a statement that his thoughts are with the victims and their families, and he is praying for their swift recovery. He says the Justice Department will provide resources for a thorough investigation.

Five people, including the suspected shooter, were hit. President Donald Trump said the attacker died later.

Rosenstein says police officers who responded to the attack are "heroic" and "their willingness to risk their lives to keep us safe is humbling and inspiring."


1:00 p.m.

A Texas congressman says the gunman who shot Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise at baseball practice had first fired at another Republican lawmaker and missed.

Republican Joe Barton witnessed the shootings that wounded Scalise and several others.

Barton told reporters Wednesday that the gunman first fired shots at Mississippi Republican congressman Trent Kelly and missed before shooting Scalise. He says Kelly was playing third base. Scalise, who was shot in the hip, was playing second.

Kelly said on Twitter that he is safe.

Mississippi's two other Republican congressmen — Steven Palazzo and Gregg Harper — also say they are safe.

Palazzo is on the Republican baseball team but was not at practice because he was doing a radio interview.


12:40 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has told his fellow lawmakers that "an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

The Wisconsin Republican praised the efforts of Capitol police officers and other law enforcement.

Ryan addressed the House in the wake of Wednesday's shooting at a practice of lawmakers for the annual charity congressional baseball game.

Ryan said, "these were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire."

Ryan received a standing ovation as lawmakers in both parties came to the House chamber as a show of unity.

Ryan said implored lawmakers in both parties "to resolve to come together to lift each other up and to show the country, show the world that we are one House, the people's House, united in our humanity."


12:20 p.m.

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders says the man authorities identified as opening fire on the Republican congressional baseball practice had apparently volunteered on his presidential campaign.

Sanders, an independent from Vermont who ran for president, says in a statement: "I am sickened by this despicable act."

He says that "violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."

He paid tribute to Capitol Police for their response to the shooting, and said his prayers are with House GOP Whip Steve Scalise and others who were wounded.

Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.


12:15 p.m.

Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan says he suspects he spoke with the man who minutes later opened fire on the congressional baseball practice.

Duncan, of South Carolina, says he gave a description of the man to Alexandria police that "fits the picture that's being shown on TV."

Duncan says he was preparing to leave the baseball practice when the man approached him and asked: "Excuse me, sir, who's practicing today? Democrats or Republicans?'"

Duncan said he replied it was the Republican team, and the man thanked him and turned around. Nothing about the man "struck me as being out of the ordinary."

Duncan says he left the field at 7:02 a.m. and had no idea there had been a shooting.

He said he has no doubt the man he spoke with was the shooter, based on photos he's seen.


12:12 p.m.

Rep. Martha McSally says the congressional baseball game will take place as scheduled Thursday night.

McSally says House Speaker Paul Ryan made the announcement, just hours after a gunman opened fire early Wednesday on members of Congress who were practicing outside Washington D.C. for the charity baseball game. McSally says the announcement was met with a standing ovation.

McSally, a Republican from Arizona, says "we can't let anyone stop us from doing our work and from standing together."


11:47 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the assailant in the congressional shooting has died from his injuries.

Trump said Wednesday morning that the gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, had died. The assailant has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson.

Scalise was shot at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington. Officials said several other people were also wounded. Trump said Scalise "was badly wounded and is now in stable condition."

Trump praised the "heroic actions" of the Capital Police at the scene.


11:20 a.m.

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. says one of its employees was among those shot at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday.

Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson identified the wounded employee as Matt Mika. He says Mika was taken to a hospital and that the company is awaiting word on his condition.

Mickelson says Mika is director of government relations for Tyson's Washington, D.C., office and that he's worked for the company for more than six years.

He says the company is "deeply concerned" about Mika and his family.

Based in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson Foods is one of the world's largest producers of chicken, beef and pork.


11:13 a.m.

Rep. Rodney Davis says he never thought he'd go to a baseball practice and "have to dodge bullets."

Davis, a Republican from Illinois, credited U.S. Capitol Police officers on the scene of Wednesday's shooting outside Washington D.C. He said had they not been there, it "would have been a massacre."

Davis was interviewed on CNN, still in his baseball t-shirt, with blood on his elbow and hand.

He said he and other members of Congress fled the dugout as shots were fired, took shelter behind cars and then ran to a nearby apartment building to call police.

Police have not said whether the shooter was intentionally targeting members of Congress. But Davis said, "I don't think it's a coincidence that no bullets were fired outside the baseball field."


11:03 a.m.

President Donald Trump will make a statement about the shooting of a top House Republican.

The White House said Trump will make a statement from the Diplomatic Room in the White House at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot by a rifle-wielding gunman Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice just outside of Washington. Officials said several other people were also wounded.

The White House said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were both notified of the shooting in Alexandria this morning. The President has spoken to Scalise's wife and chief of staff, as well as House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the chief of the Capitol Police.



A government official says the suspect in the Virginia shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others has been identified as an Illinois man named James. T. Hodgkinson.

The official was not authorized to discuss an investigation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The FBI and local law enforcement officials say they haven't identified a motive.

--Contributed by Eric Tucker


11:00 a.m.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it is examining two weapons involved in the shooting at a congressional baseball practice.

The agency says it is working to quickly trace a rifle and a handgun to determine where they were purchased.

It was not immediately clear if the gunman fired both weapons during the attack. An ATF spokeswoman said a trace of the weapons would answer that question.


10:54 a.m.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the entire Senate is "deeply saddened" over Wednesday's shooting.

In remarks on Senate floor the Kentucky Republican says senators are concerned for the injured and "will keep them in our prayers" and send wishes for a full recovery.

McConnell expressed gratitude for the Capitol Police officers on the scene as well as other first responders.

McConnell notes that the baseball game is a bipartisan charity event and he encourages the Senate to "embrace that spirit today as we come together in expressing both our concern and our gratitude."


10:52 a.m.

Rep. Roger Williams of Texas says his aide, Zack Barth, was among those shot Wednesday morning at a congressional baseball practice.

Williams tweeted Barth's name and also discussed his condition.

He says Barth "is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery."

The congressman is asking that people respect Barth's privacy.

Barth is a legislative correspondent in Williams' office.


10:50 a.m.

U.S. Capitol Police say the officers wounded while responding to the shooting of a congressman are expected to survive.

Steve Scalise, a top House Republican, was wounded in the Wednesday morning shooting by a rifle-wielding gunman. The shooting happened during a congressional baseball practice.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said during a news conference Wednesday that the officers wounded are in good condition and had injuries not considered life-threatening. The nature of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says five people were taken to hospitals. It was not immediately clear how many of those were law enforcement officers.


10:27 a.m.

George Washington University Hospital says it is treating two people wounded during the shooting at a congressional baseball practice and both are in critical condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Griffiths says their identity is not being released because of patient privacy laws.

Police in Alexandria, Virginia, say five people were taken to area hospitals, including the gunman who opened fire Wednesday morning.


10:18 a.m.

A law enforcement official says the shooting in Virginia that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others is being investigated as a criminal act rather than an act of terrorism.

The official, who was not authorized to speak by name and spoke on condition of anonymity, also says the FBI is taking over the investigation, which is standard protocol in attacks involving federal officials such as a congressman. A news conference has been scheduled by law enforcement for later in the morning.


10:12 a.m.

The White House says that it's canceling President Donald Trump's only public event on Wednesday due to the shooting involving members of Congress.

Trump was scheduled to visit the Department of Labor later in the afternoon to talk about apprenticeships and sign an executive order.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the chamber's No. 3 Republican leader, was shot during a congressional baseball practice outside of Washington.

Scalise was undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Trump said in statement earlier that the White House was "deeply saddened by this tragedy."

The White House also canceled a "listening session" on tax reform with top economic adviser Gary Cohn and auto industry leaders.


10:07 a.m.

Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley of New York says the House sergeant at arms will be briefing lawmakers on Capitol Hill at 11 a.m. following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Crowley says the briefing is for members of the House. He wasn't sure if senators were also being briefed.

The sergeant at arms is an officer of the House of Representatives with responsibilities for law enforcement, protocol and administration.



The House has sharply curtailed its business after one of its senior Republican members, Rep. Steve Scalise, and several other people were shot during a congressional baseball practice in Virginia.

A message from the GOP leadership says no votes are expected in the House Wednesday. Members also won't be allowed to make short speeches during what's known as the morning hour.

The House was scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. and then recess immediately.


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