Illinois Politicians React to Shooting at Congressional Baseball Practice

After five people were injured in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, Illinois politicians on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the incident.

“This is a sad day for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation,” Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth said in a statement. “We can all agree that these sorts of actions simply have no place in civil society, and we should do much more to prevent this sort of needless violence."

"I wish all the victims a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing my former House colleagues, Congressional staffers and Capitol Police officers back on the Hill soon," her statement continued. "I also want to thank all the first responders for their bravery in risking their lives this morning—without their efforts, today could have been even worse.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims of a tragic shooting this morning,” a statement from Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin reads. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the United States Capitol Police who put their lives on the line this morning and each and every day to keep members, staff, and visitors safe.” [[428404213, C]]

A gunman opened fire at the Republican congressional baseball team's early-morning practice in Alexandria, Virginia, authorities said.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was injured in the shooting, as well as two Capitol Police officers, Rep. Roger Williams’ aide Zack Barth and Tyson Foods’ director of government relations Matt Mika.

The alleged shooter, later identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, of Illinois, died, President Donald Trump said in an address to the nation.

US Rep. Rodney Davis, who represents Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, was among the lawmakers practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game when shots rang out, but he was not injured.

“What does this mean for security?” Davis asked. “Security is going to be stepped up. But, what it means is, we’ve got to stop. We’ve got to come together as Republicans and Democrats. This political hateful rhetoric that’s going on, be it social media or in the news cycle, where it seems as though Republicans and Democrats don’t get along out here – that’s just not true.”

“And what that rhetoric and that hatefulness has led to is members of Congress, I believe, having to dodge bullets today at a baseball practice,” he added. [[428446933, C]]

Other Illinois congressmen who were on the team include Reps. Darin LaHood and John Shimkus, who were not at Wednesday’s practice.

"Please pray with me for my friend @SteveScalise, USPC and all those there," Shimkus tweeted.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-16th District) shared his response on Twitter before releasing a statement as well,

“What happened today was a targeted act of senseless violence from a disturbed individual," he said. "This hate will not divide us; it will unite us. Today and every day, I am grateful to our Capitol Police and our strong Congressional community.”  [[428399813, C]]

“This is a tragedy,” Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat representing Illinois 5th District, said over the phone. “Unfortunately, similar tragedies are unfolding in my home city and across the country on a daily basis so I’d like to think we address those issues, but for today, we need to focus on our thoughts being with those who are in surgery.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with Whip Steve Scalise, the Congressional Staff and Capitol Police all affected by this morning’s horrible shooting,” said 1st District Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat, in a statement. “We are grateful for the heroism of the Capitol Police who saved countless lives. We are united in our hopes and prayers for the wounded.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also credited law enforcement for their actions in the shooting.

“I also think we should praise the capitol police who responded quickly, professionally and shows why our police are so important for our safety and our wellbeing,” he said.

“I was not at the scene today, but my thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise, the Capitol Police officers and others who were shot, and their families,” echoed Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th District).

“This was a horrible, senseless act of violence, and we must bring the perpetrator to justice," his statement reads. "While we don't yet know the full scale of the casualties this morning, we do know that this attack would have been inestimably worse without the presence of the brave men and women of the Capitol Police, some of whom are among the wounded. Like so many in law enforcement, they deserve our thanks every day, but especially today.” [[428393503, C]]

9th District Rep. Jan Schakowsky, deputy minority whip, said she was "shocked and horrified by the events that took place,” adding “My thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Steve Scalise, the U.S. Capitol Police, the Congressional staffers present at this morning’s practice, and all those affected. I wish everyone injured a full and speedy recovery.”

“This kind of cowardly attack on Members of Congress is horrific,” added Rep. Bill Foster (D-11th District). “Violence has no place in our government or politics, and I wish everyone who was injured a speedy recovery.”

Along with her prayers for those injured and gratitude for law enforcement, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17th District) also voiced her strong support for continuing the long-standing tradition of the Congressional Baseball Game in the face of tragedy.

“The Congressional Men’s Baseball Game – and the Congressional Women’s Softball Game – are two of the few truly bipartisan events left on Capitol Hill, and we will not be deterred by this senseless act of violence,” she said in a statement.

While the House adjourned for the day around 12:15 p.m., the game will go on as scheduled Thursday, lawmakers said.

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