Correction: This post originally said Rep. Steve Scalise was in stable condition based on a statement from President Trump. His condition is critical, according to a report from MedStar Washington Hospital where Scalise is being treated. Here’s latest on the Congressional baseball practice shooting.
The third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot in the hip this morning at a baseball practice with other members of Congress in Alexandria, Virginia, police confirmed.
Scalise is the highest-profile known victim of the shooting so far. Five other victims, including staffers and aides as well as the gunman, haven’t been identified. They’ve all been transported to local hospitals. Scalise is in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital, a congressional aide told NBC News.
It’s still not clear why a gunman opened fire at a practice where both Republicans and Democrats were preparing for an upcoming charity game, an annual tradition where each party fields a team. It’s also not known whether Scalise himself was a targeted victim, or if he was just caught in a random line of fire.
Here’s a bit about who Scalise is. Vox will provide information on all the victims and the shooter as their identities are released.
Scalise, a conservative, is a member of Republican leadership. His job as majority whip is to make sure Republican members show up to vote.
Because he’s in an official leadership role, he has security who travels with him. On Wednesday morning, the detail fired back at the gunman, and it “probably saved everyone else’s life today” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was on the scene, told MSNBC.
Scalise was formerly the chair of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus group and “leading influencer of the Right.” The group is influential in shaping conservative priorities in the House.
Scalise represents the First Congressional District of Louisiana covering the Southeast of the state. He currently sits on the committee for Energy and Commerce and on the subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
As he was taking a leadership position in Congress, reports surfaced that Scalise had spoken at a conference in 2002 hosted by European-American Unity and Rights Organization—a group founded by Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise said that he wasn’t aware that EURO had been designated a hate group at the time.
Scalise is also an outspoken supporter of gun ownership rights under the Second Amendment. During the 112th Congress, Scalise introduced the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, which eases federal restrictions on interstate firearms purchases. He also co-sponsored a bill to repeal the DC gun ban — a law that was later overturned by the Supreme Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller — and he sponsored the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, which would allow national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Scalise has earned an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.