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Northwest Politicians Respond To Congressional Shooting In Virginia


Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, center, and other members of the Republican Congressional softball team, stand behind police tape of the scene of a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, center, and other members of the Republican Congressional softball team, stand behind police tape of the scene of a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot.

Cliff Owen/AP

A gunman opened fire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, early Wednesday morning, wounding at least five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

The shooting took place around 7 a.m. ET during a baseball practice for Republican members of Congress at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in the Del Ray area of Alexandria.

In a statement to the nation Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump said the suspected shooter, identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, has died. The FBI is investigating the shooting and says it’s too soon to determine a motive for the attack. 

Members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation were quick to condemn the attack. 

Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon’s only Republican member of Congress, tells OPB he was not at the scene of the shooting Wednesday morning and is safe. Walden describes Scalise as a dear friend and says that the Majority Whip was able to speak to his wife this morning before going into surgery. 

“This is horrible. It’s tragic,” Walden said of the shooting in an interview with OPB’s “Morning Edition.” 

Map: Shooting In Alexandria, Virginia, Wounds At Least 5

A gunman opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning. At least five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana. 

“As we know, whether you’re riding a MAX train in Portland or at a baseball practice in Alexandria, there are people who seek to do harm to innocent people. And you hope it never happens here, you think it will never happen here — here being America — and yet we all know tragically it does, either as a terrorist attack or just a crime spree.”

Walden says the Republican congressional members were at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park Wednesday practicing for a bipartisan charity baseball game that is scheduled to take place Thursday night.  

Listen to the full conversation with Walden via the audio player above.

Oregon Democratic Sen Ron Wyden called Wednesday’s shooting “horrific” in a tweet, and said his thoughts and prayers are with Scalise, the Capitol police and Congressional staff.

“All of us here, members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are coming together to say in the strongest possible terms that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici told OPB. In a statement, Bonamici also called Wednesday’s shooting a “cowardly, criminal act,” and offered thanks to the Capitol Police officers who helped bring down the shooter Wednesday. 

“This morning several innocent people, including some of my Congressional colleagues, were attacked as they practiced for the Congressional baseball game. I thank the brave Capitol Police Officers and Alexandria Police for their response to this horrific shooting. My thoughts and prayers are with Whip Steve Scalise, the Capitol Police officers, Congressional aides, and others who were wounded this morning, and I wish them each a full and speedy recovery.

“The annual Congressional Baseball Game is a tradition and an opportunity for members of Congress, their staff, and families to come together and raise money for charity. I’m confident in the collective strength of my colleagues as we stand together against this cowardly, criminal act.”

Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio also thanked the Capitol Police officers in a tweet:

Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer issued the following statement:

“The reality is still sinking in – it’s just horrific. Having seen some of my fellow members leaving this morning for practice as I came to the Capitol, it’s jarring. My thoughts are with Steve Scalise, my Republican colleagues, and all affected. I am grateful for our brave Capitol Police and others who acted.”

And in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday’s shooting was “a shock to wake up to.”

“Trudi and I, along with all Washingtonians, send our thoughts to Congressman Scalise, the Capitol Police officers, Congressional staff and others injured and who witnessed this horrific act. We hope for a speedy and full recovery for all.”

It is unclear at this time what motivated the shooting. 

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