FBI On Whether Scalise Shooting Is Terrorism: It's Too Early To Say

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 14, 2017 11:20 AM
FBI On Whether Scalise Shooting Is Terrorism: It's Too Early To Say

Earlier this morning, a gunman fired anywhere from 50-60 shots at Republican members of Congress practicing before the annual baseball game that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. It’s a bipartisan effort that unites both parties—a rare moment in Washington nowadays. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was hit in the hip, an aide to Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) was shot, and two U.S. Capitol Police officers were also injured. The gunman was also shot. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was at the field, said that without the Capitol Police presence, a massacre could have occurred. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said that as many as 45 congressional Republicans were at the field.

Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown recently gave an updated presser to his 9 A.M. briefing, where he said that this is not an active incident. The city is safe, but this is an active investigation. He reiterated that his officers received a 911 call at 7:09 A.M. about an active shooter at Eugene Simpson Park. Alexandria Police responded within three minutes, received fire, and returned fire. Capitol Police, who were already on the scene, also engaged the suspect. Emergency medial personnel provided assistance to those inured at the scene. Chief Brown added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be taking over the investigation due to a federal officer being injured in the attack, along with those targeted being members of Congress.

Chief Brown also said that Alexandria Sheriff’s Department also responded to the active shooting call earlier this morning. U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa thanked that FBI, ATF, Alexandria Police and Sheriff’s Department, and the Alexandria Fire Department for their assistance in the aftermath of this attack. The Capitol Police officers do not have life threatening injuries. He added that the FBI would provide further details.

Tim Slater, the Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, reiterated that the community is secure. The FBI got involved around 9:30 A.M. with the Capital Response Squad. Once they found out that a member of Congress was injured in the attack, the Bureau took over the investigation. Slater stressed that this is a joint operation. Concerning questions, authorities gave little new information. When asked if this was a terrorist attack, Slater said that it was too early to determine. They wouldn’t even confirm if there were five wounded persons, despite that fact that Chief Brown said less than two hours prior that five people had gone to the hospital.