FBI Evidence Response Team members mark evidence at the scene of a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, involving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., and others during a congressional baseball practice.
Photo: AP Photo/Cliff Owen
Photo: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

FBI: Hodgkinson had rifle, pistol in GOP baseball practice attack

The man who shot and wounded four people at a Republican baseball practice on Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, had two guns in his possession, the FBI has confirmed.

Witnesses reported that James Hodgkinson, identified by authorities as the man who carried out the attack on congressmen as they practiced for an upcoming charity baseball game, was firing a rifle when the attack began.

Tim Slater, the FBI special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, said he would not comment on what types of weapons Hodgkinson had or which one he was using as he shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, (R-Louisiana), and four others. Slater said he would only confirm that Hodgkinson had a rifle and a handgun.

Hodgkinson also shot Matt Mika, who works as a lobbyist for Tyson Foods and was helping to coach the team; Zachary Barth, a legislative correspondent who works for Texas Rep. Roger Williams; and two U.S. Capitol Police Officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner.

The gunfight was a fierce one, according to witnesses. A person who lived near the ballpark and asked not to be identified said he estimated that at least 80 to 100 rounds of ammunition was fired. 

Congressmen on the scene also said that multiple rounds had been fired and that the shooting “seemed to go on forever.”

Rep. Mo Brooks, (R-Alabama), lauded the bravery of the two Capitol Police officers, saying that despite being wounded, they returned fire in an effort to protect the congressmen.

Brooks told CNN in an interview immediately after the attack that, "... a Capitol security guy who had already been shot, who had helped take down the shooter, came limping over to us in the outfield, totally ignoring his own wounds to check on the person he was primarily responsible for — Steve Scalise being a part of the House leadership team."

The officers were part of the team that protects high-ranking members of Congress. Scalise is third in line in the leadership of the House.

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