Bay Ridge

Donovan says Capitol police saved lives at shooting

June 14, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting near a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot at a Congressional baseball practice. AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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New York City’s lone Republican House member quickly sought to assure his constituents that he was safe after the shooting in a suburb of Washington, D.C. that critically injured a Louisiana congressmember and four others Wednesday morning.

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) was on Capitol Hill when the shooting took place on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, according to his spokesperson. 

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was shot in the hip and was transported to a local hospital, according to The New York Times. He’s listed in critical condition following surgery, per multiple reports.

Four other people, including two Capitol police officers who are assigned to security detail for Scalise, were also shot and injured. The gunman was shot in an exchange of gunfire with the two police officers.

President Donald Trump announced that the gunman died from his wounds.

Donovan said the presence of the Capitol police officers at the scene of the shooting probably saved lives.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Majority Whip Steve Scalise as well as the staff and police officers injured this morning. The Capitol police officers who responded likely saved many lives. I thank them for their work this morning and every day as they protect every member of Congress. I wish my friend Steve, and all the others affected by this morning’s horrible incident, a speedy recovery,” Donovan said in a statement.

Donovan serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security. He is the only Republican in New York City’s congressional delegation.

The New York Times reported that a lone gunman opened fire on Republican congressmembers as they were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled to take place Thursday night. The charity game was to have featured Republicans vs. Democrats. The Democratic team was practicing on a different baseball field at the time of the shooting.

The two Capitol police officers who are assigned to protect Scalise were both wounded when they exchanged gunfire with the gunman, the Times reported.

Scalise was standing on second base when the shooting started, witnesses told the Times. The majority whip was struck by a bullet in the hip and crawled toward tall grass in an effort to escape the gunfire.

The gunman was identified by the Washington Post as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois.

In remarks at the White House, President Trump called for national unity and said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.

“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country. We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good,” the Washington Post quoted the president as saying.

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