Congress to play charity baseball game as scheduled despite shooting at Republican practice news services
June 14, 2017, 1:15 PM

— -- The Congressional Baseball Game, an annual charity event held at Nationals Park, will be played as scheduled after a gunman opened fire Wednesday on Republican lawmakers practicing for the game.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, was among several injured by the gunfire at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday morning. Scalise was shot in the hip and underwent surgery, according to a statement released by his office.

MedStar Washington said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that Scalise "was critically injured and remains in critical condition.'' It provided no further details about him.?

Rep. Martha McSally told reporters that Speaker Paul Ryan announced during a House briefing that the game still will be held Thursday at Nationals Park -- the home of the Washington Nationals. Ryan's announcement was met with a standing ovation, according to McSally.

McSally, a Republican from Arizona, said, "We can't let anyone stop us from doing our work and from standing together."

The Congressional Sports for Charity said in a statement that the game would start at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday.

"Please join us in praying for the people who were injured this morning at the Republican practice for the Congressional Baseball Game," the statement said. "The Members of Congress, the staff and the volunteers who were out at practice this morning care deeply about the causes they play to benefit. We believe the best way to honor them it to play the game as scheduled tomorrow night."

The Nationals said they looked forward to hosting the game Thursday night.?

"It has been our honor to host the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park the last nine years," the team said. "The bipartisan event shows baseball's power to bring people together. Our thoughts and prayers are with those wounded today and their families."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Representative Steve Scalise, Congressional staff, U.S. Capitol Police and all those who were impacted by today's senseless violence," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We look forward to a full recovery for each of the victims and hope that tomorrow night's game can play a constructive role in the healing process."

Thursday's contest will mark the 80th edition of the Congressional Baseball Game, which pits Republicans against Democrats. Proceeds from the game are contributed to multiple Washington, D.C. charities, including the local Boys and Girls Club and the Washington Literacy Center.

As the No. 3 House Republican, Scalise has a security detail assigned to him at all times. Lawmakers who were at the practice said the shooting could have been much worse if the security detail were not there.

The shooter has been identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. President Donald Trump said Hodgkinson has died from his injuries.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams, who is one of the coaches, said the Republican baseball team holds its practice every morning at 6:30 a.m. ET at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria. and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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