Williams' staffer Zachary Barth among victims at Congressional baseball practice shooting; Williams reportedly injured but not shot

Congressman Roger Williams

UPDATED to include President comment that the assailant has died.

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Despite published reports, Congressman Roger Williams, R-Austin, was not one of the victims of a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning, but one of his staff members, Zachary Barth, was injured in the gunfire.

“At approximately 7 a.m. EDT this morning, an armed gunman arrived at baseball practice and opened fire,” according to a statement from Williams' office. “Congressman Williams was not shot, however a member of his staff was shot and is receiving medical attention. The gunman has been detained and at this time we do not have any further information, but will continue to release it as it comes to surface.

“I now can confirm that Zack Barth, who is a legislative correspondent in my office, was shot this morning at baseball practice. He is receiving medical attention but is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery. We ask that you please respect the privacy of him and his family during this difficult time.”

There have been photographs published of Williams receiving medical attention; according to Dallas Morning News correspondent Jamie Lovegrove, Williams broke his ankle jumping into the dugout to avoid gunfire. There has been no confirmation from his staff, however.

According to published reports, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and multiple congressional aides were also hit when a gunman with a rifle opened fire at the Republican congressional baseball practice. Scalise is reportedly in stable condition and undergoing surgery at an area hospital.

U.S. Capital Police, assigned to protect Scalise as a security detail because of his leadership position in the House, returned fire and shot the assailant, who was apprehended and taken to an area hospital. President Donald Trump, in a live press briefing, said the assailant, identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodginkson, has died.

The Republican baseball team holds practice every morning at 6:30 a.m. EDT at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Rep. Williams has been the coach of the team since he joined Congress in 2013.

The Congressional Baseball Game, which pits Senate and House party members against each other in friendly competition, is a national tradition since 1909 and the most recent game was scheduled for June 15 at Nationals Park. There has been no word yet on whether the game will continue as scheduled.

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