CHICAGO (CBS) — Members of Congress say the game will go on. Republicans and Democrats alike vowed to play an annual charity baseball game Thursday, after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) and four other people were shot by a gunman from Illinois on Wednesday.
The Republican team was practicing early Wednesday at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, when 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson opened fire with a high-powered assault rifle.
Scalise was shot in the hip, and was critically wounded. Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika was shot in the chest, and also was in critical condition. Zack Barth, a lobbyist for U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) was shot in the leg, and was in good condition.
Two U.S. Capitol Police officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who are members of Scalise’s security team, also were wounded. Bailey was treated and released, and Griner was in good condition.
The officers, along with Alexandria police, returned fire, killing Hodgkinson.
Lawmakers said, despite the bloodshed on Wednesday, the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity must go on. They said an attack on one member is an attack on all, and that’s why they’re responding with a show of unity.
“If we don’t play this baseball game, and we go home, then they win,” Williams said.
Republican Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was up to bat at the practice when Hodgkinson opened fire.
“I never thought I’d play a baseball game for charity, go to practice at 6:30 in the morning, and have to dodge bullets,” he said.
The FBI and police have said they do not yet know if the gunman was specifically gunning for members of Congress, but Davis said there’s no doubt they were targeted.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that no bullets were fired outside of that baseball field,” he said.