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Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise Shot in Virginia Shooting

Update 6.16, 2:30PM

Louisiana representative Steve Scalise, along with two other Republican Washington cohorts, was shot this morning near the nation’s capitol, in Alexandria, Virginia. Current reports state that Scalise is in critical condition. 


The shooter attacked during practice for the annual Republican-Democrat baseball game, scheduled to take place tomorrow. Gunfire ensued between the shooter and two capital police officers. Scalise, lobbyist Matt Mika, congressional staffer Zach Barth, and two of Scalise's capitol policemen were taken to the hospital for treatment. The suspect has died of his wounds.


Scalise is the Representative of Louisiana’s 1st district, which extends from New Orleans’ suburbs to the bayous. This morning he was shot by James T Hodgkinson, along with congressional staffer, Zachary Barth, and the director of government relations for the Washington office of Tyson Foods, Matt Mika. They were practicing for the annual Republican-Democrat baseball game near the capital in Alexandria, Virginia. The shooting occurred at approximately 7:09 AM this morning. A motive for the shooting has yet to be determined.


Steve Scalise is one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington. He is the House Whip for the Republican party, making him the third ranking Republican in the House. The House Whip is in charge of counting votes for and against legislation. It is unclear if the gunman was targeting Scalise, specifically, and there is no evidence to suggest that the gunman had a motive to target Scalise.



Law enforcement authorities identified the deceased suspect as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. Witnesses described the suspect as a man with white hair and a beard wielding a long gun standing behind the dugout. He emerged from the third-base dugout, and struck Scalise, who was at second base, in the hip. The alleged shooter had volunteered for Bernie Sanders campaign, and was fervently against Trump, according to his Facebook account. Former presidential candidate Sanders commented, “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action.”


The current President addressed the nation earlier today, referring to Scalise as a "good friend" and "a patriot." President Trump stated, "He will recover from this assault. And Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the vicitms of this terrible shooting." 


Mayor Mitch Landrieu served with Scalise in the Louisiana legislature for ten years. “I have worked with him, and I have great admiration and respect for him," said Landrieu in a statement. "I want to ask the people of New Orleans and of the country to keep him and the other victims in your thoughts and prayers. I am encouraged by reports that he is in stable condition. We continue to pray for his full and speedy recovery, and our thoughts are with his family.” 


The Mayor postponed his last ever State of the City Address, scheduled for this morning, at short notice as a result of the news. Landrieu stated he believes that approaching and resolving attacks on both public officials and citizens should not be a partisan issue. “In times like these, we have to pause and reflect, which is why I postponed the State of the City Address today. We have to be clear: any attack on any public official is an attack on our very democracy, on all Americans and on our country." 


The Mayor continued, "The world sees us battling politically for what we believe is best for our constituents, but what the public might not understand is that we spend a lot of time together and so do our families….We have to put aside all our differences and unite against this cowardly violence in our country. This senseless violence cannot go unchecked.”


It is indeed partisanship that is hindering an effective solution to country’s increasingly growing violent divide. Often attacks on public officials gain significant media attention because of the high-profile of the victims, but the real plight that faces New Orleans and the nation is the startling homicide rate and the divergence of American ideologies. The bedrock for effective policy that can combat this divide is embedded in our ability to integrate those who exist on the fringes of society. In an uncertain political climate, it is a great comfort to see our highest political representatives making statements that address these issues. 


Updated 6.14, 2:00PM

According to reports, Scalise is in critical condition following surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. 


Updated 6.16, 2:30PM

On Friday afternoon, Representative Scalise's wife Jennifer released a statement regarding his condition and praised the agents who saved the lives of everyone during the Wednesday morning attack. 


Stay with NoDef for details. 

Additional reporting from Alexis Manrodt. 

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