A somber atmosphere descended on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning following the shooting incident that injured five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
Some members of Congress have been forced to go off the record with reporters so that they can cry, according to Haley Byrd, a congressional reporter for the Independent Journal Review.
The mood at the Capitol: some members of Congress going off the record during press scrums so they can cry before continuing to answer q’s
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 14, 2017
The gunman, identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson III from Illinois, was killed by police after opening fire on a group of GOP lawmakers practicing ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at a field in the suburban Washington, D.C. community of Alexandria, Va.
Scalise, two police officers, a congressional staffer and a lobbyist were all injured in the attack. All are expected to recover, according to WJLA ABC 7.
Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton was at the practice when the shooting took place, along with his 10-year-old son. Barton recounted the harrowing ordeal on Capitol Hill while still in his baseball attire. “It was scary,” Barton told reporters.
A visibly shaken Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake described the incident to CNN’s Ryan Nobles in the halls of Congress.
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) June 14, 2017
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that Scalise’s security detail probably saved a lot of lives.
“One of the things that’s really fortunate, everybody probably would have died, except for the fact that Capitol Hill police were there. The only reason they were there was because we had a member of leadership on our team,” Paul explained moments after the incident.
“By him [Scalise] being there it saved everybody else’s life because if you don’t have a leadership person there, there would have been no security there,” Paul said.
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