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Summary

  1. Gunman opens fire on top politicians at a Republican baseball practice session in the US state of Virginia
  2. House Majority whip Steve Scalise is among those wounded but no life-threatening injuries
  3. The suspect has been killed, President Trump has announced
  4. The attacker was armed with a rifle and fired 50 to 100 bullets
  5. He has been identified by unnamed officials as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois

Live Reporting

By Max Matza

All times stated are UK

Live coverage closes

To recap this morning's events:

  • Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, the third-highest ranked Republican in Congress, has been shot in the hip and is expected to recover quickly
  • The group of Republican lawmakers had been practising for a forthcoming game against congressional Democrats when they came under fire
  • The suspected gunman, James T Hodgkinson, had expressed outrage online with Republicans and had volunteered for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign

For all the latest developments read our main news story:

Gunman dead after attacking congressmen at Virginia baseball field

The history of violence against US politicians

Senator Huey Long
Getty Images
Senator Huey Long was assassinated in 1935

According to the Washington Post, there have been 14 US members of Congress killed since the founding of the United States, and more than a dozen wounded in shootings.

Among the most high profile incidents:

  • In 1831, Missouri Congressman Spencer Pettis died in a duel
  • James Hinds from Arkansas was shot in 1868 while riding a horse. His attacker was never found
  • In 1935, Louisiana Senator Huey Long, who was famous for his lengthy speeches in Congress, was shot and killed by the family member of a political opponent
  • Democratic congresswoman Gabby Giffords was seriously injured when shot in Arizona in 2011

Capitol Police officers named

Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have taken to the floor of the House of Representatives to condemn the shooting and to applaud the first responders.

Capitol Hill police officers Krystal Griner and David Bailey were both injured in the 10-minute-long gunfight.

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WATCH - what happened in Alexandria earlier

Witnesses who spoke to the BBC and US media describe what they saw in Virginia this morning.

How the shooting on Republican congressmen unfolded

Breaking'Multiple victims' reported in San Francisco shooting

As the debate over access to guns ramps up yet again due to events in Virginia, another mass shooting has been reported across the country.

"Multiple victims" have been reported at the United Parcel Service (UPS) depot in San Francisco, California.

Aerial images show workers in brown uniforms being led away from the building by armed police.

Anyone nearby has been advised by police to shelter in place.

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'Senseless and cowardly' - Justice Department

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein just released this statement:

"This morning, Members of Congress, Senators, congressional staffers, and Capitol Police officers were targets of a senseless and cowardly attack during a practice for a bi-partisan, charity baseball game. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We pray for their swift recovery. The Department of Justice will provide all resources necessary for a thorough investigation.

"I commend the heroic officers of the Capitol Police and the Alexandria Police Department. Their willingness to risk their lives to keep us safe is humbling and inspiring."

Rod Rosenstein
Getty Images
Rod Rosenstein

Meanwhile, the scene in Washington

There is a heavy security presence as congressmen who were part of the baseball practice and witnessed the shooting have been briefing reporters, after being taken to the Capitol from Alexandria.

Police at Capitol
Reuters
Capitol Police immediately mobilised when news came from nearby Alexandria
Representative Charles Fleischmann speaks to reporters
Getty Images
Representative Charles Fleischmann witnessed the shooting
Police at the Capitol
Reuters
Police presence at the Capitol

Congressman at game says no change on gun stance

Congressman Mo Brooks, who reportedly used his belt as a tourniquet to aid wounded teammates, says that his view on gun control has not changed.

"These rights are here to protect Americans, they are fundamental to our being the greatest nation in world history," he tells US media.

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Man asked 'Are they Republicans?' before shooting - witness

'Are they Republicans or Democrats?' US gunman asked

Jeff Duncan, who represents South Carolina in the House of Representatives was at the practice session but left before the shooting began.

He described to US media how a man approached the group to ask if they were Democrats or Republicans on the field.

It has not yet been confirmed if that was the same person who later opened fire on the Republican team.

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Paul Ryan speaks on House floor

"There are very strong emotions in this House today," says House Speaker Paul Ryan after a brief moment of silence.

"We are all horrified by the dreadful attack on our colleagues.

To thunderous applause from fellow members of congress, he adds: "We are united in our shock. We are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

The game is still on

The congressional baseball game is still scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park stadium in Washington DC.

At least one member of congress is calling on President Trump to attend the cross-party game, which has taken on added significance now.

The Washington Post has a piece explaining the history of the game.

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BreakingBernie Sanders 'sickened' by link to suspect

The Vermont senator has spoken about the alleged gunman.

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Gunman described in local news

The Belleville News-Democrat newspaper has found this image of suspected gunman James Hodgkinson of Illinois, protesting against wealth inequality in 2012.

The paper says he is a member of several anti-Republican groups on Facebook.

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Shocked teammate tearfully describes incident

Texas Congressman Joe Barton took a moment in the halls of Congress to describe this morning's attack.

Texas congressman fights back tears as he recounts shooting
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Trump thanking police

Looking directly into the camera, and speaking from prepared remarks, Trump says "we may have our differences but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone that serves in our nation's capital is here because above all they love this country".

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America is praying for you, Steve - Trump

"Congressman Steve Scalise, a member of House leadership, was shot and badly wounded and is now in a stable condition at the hospital along with two very courageous Capitol Police officers."

"Many lives would have been lost" if not for the officers, who "sustained wounded during a very very brutal assault", the president says.

Addressing Scalise, Trump says: "America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting."

BreakingAttacker is dead - Trump

"The assailant has now died from his injuries", says Trump, adding that Congressman Scalise is a "friend, a very good friend, and a patriot".

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Photo of suspected gunman

The Illinois States Attorney Office has sent this image of James T Hodgkinson to the BBC.

Hodgkinson has been identified by US media as the attacker.

suspect
Illinois

Trump will speak at 11:30 EST / 16:30 GMT

So far, the president has spoken to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the wife of Steve Scalise, the Chief of Staff to Mr Scalise and the chief of the Capitol Police.

'The city is safe' - officials say

Alexandria police chief Mike Brown and FBI special agent Tim Slater are assuring members of the public that the city of Alexandria is safe, even as heavily-armed investigators do their work.

"This is a secure community at this point" said Slater.

Governor Terry McAuliffe, who also just spoke at the press conference, says that his "thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this incident".

McAuliffe adds that "93 individuals" died each day from gun violence.

BreakingPossible suspect identified

The Washington Post and CBS News have been told by law enforcement officials that the gunman is James T Hodgkinson.

The Washington Post reports that Hodgkinson comes from the small community of Belleville, Illinois, near St Louis, Missouri.

Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business. When his licence expired in November 2016, it was not renewed, US media report.

He was charged in April 2006 with battery and damage to a motor vehicle. Those charges were dismissed, records show.

No confirmation from police on that name yet, however.

Virginia's governor: Police and locals saved lives

Our reporter in Washington tweets:

Video: Police at the scene evacuate wounded Scalise

Police at scene of Republican Steve Scalise shooting

Congress staffer says he was 'shot, but is ok'

The White House correspondent for One America News Network tweets:

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Meanwhile, a local hospital confirms it is treating two patients. Five, including the suspect, were taken to hospitals from the scene.

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Senator describes suspect

Senator Jeff Flake briefs members of the media near Eugene Simpson Stadium Park
Getty Images

Witnesses have described the gunman as a middle-aged white man.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, pictured, said the suspect appeared to be in his 40s "maybe 50, dark hair, white with a blue shirt on" and wearing jeans.

BBC is live from scene of shooting

Our Washington team is live on the scene:

President Trump to make statement

CBS News hears that the president will speak later...

Rep Scalise was excited about baseball game

In a light-hearted video interview on Monday, Rep Scalise told ABC News he was never much of a baseball player - but was hoping to do well at the game scheduled for Thursday.

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'No Democrats or Republicans - only Americans'

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says the bravery of Capitol Police "undoubtedly saved countless lives".

On days like today, there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans united in our thoughts for the wounded. goo.gl/Bg85xC

Eric Trump criticised for stock market tweet

Eric Trump, the president's son, has been criticised by some on Twitter for a message saying there is "zero chance" mainstream news networks (MSM) would be covering the good performance of stock markets.

That led to many Twitter users questioning whether he was up to date on the news.

Shortly after, he retweeted his father's message of condolence to Mr Scalise.

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House summoned to special briefing

Washington political reporters are now saying that there will be no House business until the afternoon - and that all members have been called to a briefing at 11:15 local time (15:15 GMT).

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Congressman: 'It was a harrowing scene'

Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann was also at the baseball ground and told CNN it was a "horrible, horrible morning".

"I walked towards the home plate and heard a large 'pop'. I thought, that sounds like a gunshot. There was a pause and then a barrage of gunshots. We hit the ground. People were running, we ran and got into the dugout. Some people were hit and bleeding. It was a harrowing scene."

Trump cancels planned event after shooting

White House reporters are now saying President Trump has cancelled an afternoon event - the only one on his schedule for the day.

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More praise for the police

Always so grateful for the US Capitol Police officers. Their bravery saved lives in VA this morning. Thank you.

Melania Trump tweets

Thank you to the first responders who rushed in to help protect those who were hurt in Alexandria, VA. My thoughts & prayers to everyone!

No votes expected in the House

The shooting happened in the morning, Washington DC time, before the day's political business.

It is now expected that there will be no votes in the House today, and that the 10:00 debate will be cancelled.

Police praise quick response

Police Chief Matthew Verderosa praises the quick response

There's a congressional baseball game?

For those who have never heard of congressmen playing baseball, The Atlantic magazine wrote a lengthy piece on the tradition in 2013, which is being widely shared.

"If you think Capitol Hill is polarized, overcompetitive, and obsessed with winning, wait until you see the Congressional Baseball Game," the sub-headline teases.

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