MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After a gunman opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning, Rep. Tom Rice spoke with WMBF News, condemning the act of violence.
Rice was uninjured in the attack, as he and his staff were in a meeting when it occurred. "Everybody's fine, everybody's shaken obviously, these acts of violence happen far too often and these occur occasionally up here in Washington," he said.
President Donald Trump announced in a news conference that the shooter, identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois, has died from his injuries sustained during gunfire with Capitol Police. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was one of the victims, and he is now out of surgery and in stable condition. Others injured include Capitol Police officers Krystal Griner and David Bailey, and Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods.
Rice described Scalise as a "good friend," and said he did text him, but chose to keep the message private.
As for the Capitol Police, Rice says they work tirelessly to keep everyone in Washington safe.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who was on the field as shots rang out, said the Capitol Police's presence prevented the situation from being any worse. "Had they not been there it would have been a massacre," Paul said to MSNBC. "Because there's no escaping a guy, you know, if he's got several hundred bullets and we had no weapons and no place to hide."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now leading the investigation because members of Congress were involved. At this time, it is not clear if Republican lawmakers were specially targeted, if the incident was domestic terrorism, or if there was any other motive behind the shooting.
WMBF News is working to learn more information about this developing story.
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