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President Trump 'Praying' for Steve Scalise, All Shot at GOP Baseball Practice in VA, Says Gunman is Dead

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June 14, 2017: President Donald Trump has addressed the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and four others that happened this morning at a baseball field in Virginia and said he - along with all of America - is "praying" for all affected.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La, was among five shot by a gunman during practice for the GOP congressional baseball team. Twitter

President Donald Trump has addressed the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and four others that happened this morning at a baseball field in Virginia and said he - along with all of America - is "praying" for all affected.

In a statement delivered at the White House on Wednesday morning, President Trump revealed that the gunman, identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, has been killed.

"Melania and I...are praying for the swift recovery of all victims," President Trump said. "Congressman Scalise is a friend and a very good friend. He's a patriot and he's a fighter. He will recover from this assault. And Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers of...an entire nation and frankly, the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting."

The shooting took place at a practice for the GOP congressional baseball team. According to both congressional and law enforcement sources, the shooting appears to be a "deliberate attack." Scalise was reportedly shot in the hip, and is currently in stable condition.

President Trump aso praised Capitol Police officers for their swift response: "Their sacrifice makes democracy possible," he said, adding that America would do well to remember that "everyone who serves in our nation's capitol is here because above all, they love our country."

"We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good," Trump said.

The president also said he had spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ryan, Scalise's wife and chief of staff and the chief of the Capitol Hill Police.

In a statement, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, one of the team's coaches, said one of his staff members, legislative correspondent Zach Barth, was shot during the incident and is receiving medical attention. Williams tweeted Barth was "receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery."

The Capitol Police officers who were injured are "in good condition and have not suffered any life-threatening injuries at this point," Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at the news conference.

Tim Slater, the FBI special agent in charge, told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference that it's still too early to tell whether the shooting was an act of terrorism or whether members of Congress were specifically targeted. 

"It's too early to say. It's really raw at this moment," Slater said.

Speaking to Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described the scene as "sort of a killing field."

"We were like sitting ducks," he said. "Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre." 

Tags : GOP baseball practice, Steve Scalise, Donald Trump, White House, James T. Hodgkinson, #AlexandriaShooting