Chuck Fleischmann recounts scene of shooting at GOP baseball practice

Steve Scalise Rising Conservative Star And Gun Rights Advocate

After visiting Scalise Wednesday evening at the hospital, Trump tweeted: "Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape - but he is a real fighter".

The president and his wife Melania spent about half an hour at the hospital, where White House press secretary Sean Spicer described the scene in the intensive care unit as "emotional".

The others shot and wounded were a congressional aide, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, and a US Capitol Police officer.

The president was accompanied by White House doctor Ronny Jackson.

As Republican members of Congress held an early-morning practice in an Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood in preparation for the 80th annual congressional charity baseball game, a man from IL, reportedly armed with an SKS rifle and a 9 mm pistol, opened fire in a savage and cowardly attack that apparently was politically motivated.

The assailant, who had nursed grievances against Mr Trump and the Republican Party, fought a gun battle with police before he was shot and later died. But Slater said authorities were still working to determine a motive and had "no indication" Hodgkinson knew about the ball practice ahead of time. He was listed in critical condition Wednesday night at a Washington hospital, which said he will require several more operations.

Hodgkinson, a home inspector from IL, had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called Terminate the Republican Party.

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Their bodies were recovered outside the building and police said it was for now "impossible to say how they died". Residents of Grenfell Tower who escaped the fire described a chaotic scene.

He had been living out of his van in the Alexandria area in recent months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

"While the president would like to attend the game and show his support for all of these courageous public servants", he said, "he has been advised that there is not enough time to follow Secret Service protocols".

The attack provoked a wave of emotion on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats expressed concern over a possible rise in verbal or physical violence amid a bitterly partisan political atmosphere in the aftermath of a vitriol-filled 2016 election.

Politicians noted their good fortune in having armed protectors on hand.

"I decided if I want to live, I need to get to better cover", said Barth.

Across the Potomac River in Washington, the shocking events left the Capitol horrified and stunned, and prompted immediate reflection on the current hostility and vitriol in American politics. Sanders condemned the attack on the floor of the Senate, saying he was "sickened" by what transpired.

Mr Scalise the number three House Republican leader, was first elected in 2008.

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"There was nowhere for me to go so I got on all fours and I saw him train his gun at me".

Congressman Rodney Davis told CNN he was at the plate at the time, and Scalise was in the field at second base.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking in Miami Thursday afternoon, offered prayers for Scalise and praised Capitol Police who engaged the suspect. Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said his colleague "crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood".

"I'm shaken up", Duncan said.

Tomorrow's game will go on and Fleischmann has said he will play and continue his work in Congress.

The first couple also visited Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner.

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