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US: Gunman opens fire at baseball practice game for Republican lawmakers, Congressman & others hit

At least two law enforcement officers and one congressional staffer were also shot. In photo: Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. Photograph: (Facebook)

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States Jun 14, 2017, 12.32 PM (IST)

A gunman opened fire Wednesday at a baseball practice game for Republican lawmakers in Washington.

Senior Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was among several victims shot.

The lawmakers were practising for an upcoming annual game for lawmakers.

AFP reported fellow Republican lawmaker Mo Brooks as telling CNN that Scalise was shot in the hip, adding that at least two law enforcement officers and one congressional staffer were shot.

Scalise, the majority whip who rallies Republican votes in the House of Representatives, "was not able to move on his own power. He was dragging his body from the second base infield to the outfield to get away from the shooter while all this firing was going on," Brooks said. 

The gunman was later identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a strong supporter of leftist Senator Bernie Sanders.

US media identified Hodgkinson, who died following a shootout with police in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, as a 66-year-old from Belleville Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis.

Sanders swiftly responded to the reports, saying he was "sickened" by what he called a "despicable act." 

Hodgkinson, who was using a rifle, had fired on the Republican lawmakers from a chain link fence surrounding the ground. 

Brooks added that one of the men in their security detail fired back but "it was our pistol versus their rifle".

Reuters reported Fox News anchor Bret Baier as tweeting that Scalise was shot in the hip and is expected to survive.

Reports added that US President Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence were "closely monitoring the situation". 

US President Donald Trump tweeted that Scalise "was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him". 

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A gunman opened fire Wednesday at a baseball practice game for Republican lawmakers in Washington (WION)

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