Trump calls for unity after shooting


AFP | A rifle-wielding critic of President Donald Trump opened fire Wednesday on USA lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game, seriously wounding a top Republican congressman and three others before he was killed by police. The President who visited Scalise at the hospital with the first lady said the Republican was in "tough shape" and a "great fighter".

"His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations", the hospital said in a Wednesday evening statement.

The gunman was killed by police in the subsequent shootout.

The alleged gunman, who according to President Donald Trump was neutralised, has been identified as by Federal law enforcement officials as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois.

Players on both the Republican and Democrat teams will reportedly wear LSU gear during the game in honor of Scalise, who is an avid fan of Tiger baseball. Trump said all of them are in stable condition.

As far as that game they were practicing for, it's set to go on as planned on Thursday.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was among at least two people shot Wednesday morning during a GOP baseball practice at an Alexandria, Virginia, ball field, NBC News confirmed.

Representative Roger Williams said in a press conference that "there could have easily been 25 deaths or more today", if not for the courageous acts of the two Capitol Police officers-Crystal Griner and David Bailey.

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, a Republican who represents the 9th District stretching from Johnson County south to Ohio River, said the events were "cowardly" and clearly targeted members of Congress.

The gunman died after being wounded in a gunfight with police.

"Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime", said Trump, calling for unity after the shooting.

Giffords is the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in 2011, igniting concerns about a violent political atmosphere.

Several Democrats were practicing at a different field when they heard of the shooting, and immediately gathered to pray for their wounded colleague.

Melania offered Scalise's family a bouquet of white flowers.

During their 20-minute visit to the hospital, Trump sat next to Scalise's bed and spoke with the congressman's family, said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

The shooting marks the first time a sitting member of Congress has been shot since Arizona Rep.

"This climate comes and goes in terms of the energy and vilifying the other side", Foster said.