(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) After gunfire left several people wounded early this morning in Alexandria, local leaders condemned the violence and said their thoughts are with the victims.
The gunman, later identified as James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, of Illinois, opened fire in Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in the Del Ray neighborhood of the city just after 7 a.m.
Among the wounded were U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), two Capitol Police officers and other staffers. Hodgkinson died after a shootout with police.
Scalise was one of a number of people practicing at the field ahead of tomorrow night’s Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.
Soon after the incident, local Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who represents Alexandria and Arlington in the House of Representatives, called the news “horrifying.”
“This morning’s tragic shooting in my hometown of Alexandria is horrifying,” Beyer said in a statement. “I am in close contact with city officials and am immensely grateful for the bravery of the first responders in Alexandria, as well as the U.S. Capitol Police. I am praying for the recovery of Congressman Scalise, Representative Williams’ staffer and the two Capitol Police officers who we understand from news reports were all injured.”
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) expressed similar distress at the shootings, which are being investigated by the FBI among other agencies.
Dorothy and I are shocked and deeply saddened by this horrible act of violence against members of congress, law enforcement and other innocent people who were simply enjoying an early morning baseball practice. We are praying for swift recoveries for those who were injured and we are thankful for the bravery and quick action of U.S. Capitol Police and local first responders to stop the attacker and treat those who were wounded. Virginia public safety officials are coordinating with local responders and we will continue to monitor this situation and make every resource available.
Five people were transported to local hospitals. Arlington County Fire Department medics and the U.S. Park Police helicopter assisted Alexandria in helping to transport the wounded.
Alexandria City Public Schools went on a lock-in, with class proceeding as normal but outside doors locked and students kept inside. Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg said she was “shocked by such an incident in our peaceful community.”
Those traveling on the U.S. Route 1 corridor during this evening’s rush hour could experience delays due to the ongoing investigation.