Donald Trump

'Thoughts and Prayers': Politicians React to Baseball Field Shooting

President Donald Trump was among those to weigh in on Twitter in the hours after the shooting Wednesday morning

Politicians across the ideological spectrum called for Americans to keep House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others who were shot Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, in their thoughts and prayers. 

The shooting happened during a baseball practice for congressional Republicans.

The gunman is James Hodgkinson, from Illinois, sources told NBC News. He is in his late 60s, Pete Williams reported. According to President Trump, Hodgkinson died from injuries sustained in a shootout with police.

Police say the victims, including Scalise, R-La., were transported to local hospitals.

President Donald Trump was among those to weigh in on Twitter in the hours after the shooting Wednesday morning, writing: "Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him." His wife Melania later praised first responders. 

Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted a statement, writing that he and his wife were praying for those injured in the shooting. 

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also released a statement Wednesday morning, saying in part: "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."

Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, also offered her her thoughts on Twitter, writing: "My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day." 

House Democrats practicing for Thursday's congressional baseball game said a prayer for their colleagues. 

Bernie Sanders said he was "sickened by this despicable act," and said the shooter apparently volunteered on his campaign.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan addressed members of Congress a few hours following the shooting. "There are very strong emotions throughout this House today," he said. "We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and on our colleagues and those who serve and protect this Capitol."

Ryan added, “We are united. We are united in our shock. We’re united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” Ryan's last comment was met by a standing ovation.

Ryan went on to thank first responders and the Alexandria police department, saying they were all "awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Hill police."

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) believes the shooting was "political terrorism," he told MSNBC Wednesday afternoon, and that Americans need to come together and decide their political differences at the ballot box and not with violence.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) told WKBW that after the shooting, he will be carrying his gun from now on.

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