Government

Congressman Johnson Safe After Ball Field Attack

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, left a ball field in Alexandria, Va., shortly before a gunman opened fire this morning on Republican members of Congress as they practiced for the charity congressional baseball game held each year with the Democrats.

“I am on the team but left prior to the shooting to head to the office,” Johnson said in a statement released through his Twitter account at 8:49 a.m. “I am unharmed.”

Johnson represents a district that runs along the Ohio River from Portsmouth, Ohio, and includes portions of the Mahoning Valley.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot in the hip and at least three others were wounded in the attack, including two Capitol police officers and a congressional staff member.

Scalise is in stable condition in a D.C. area hospital. The gunman was also shot and is in serious condition, according to reports.

President Donald Trump, in a Twitter posting, said that Scalise is a “true friend and patriot” and was “badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s Third District, which includes Lawrence and Mercer counties, tweeted around 9 a.m. that he was “saddened and sickened over this morning’s shooting. Still following the news for updates. Praying for my friend Steve Scalise & those harmed.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also offered his thoughts and prayers to those injured via Twitter this morning. “Jane & I send our thoughts & prayers to Steve Scalise, the Capitol Police & all those affected this morning,” Portman posted on his Twitter account at 9 a.m. “The Capitol police put their lives on the line every day to protect the public & members of Congress. They are true heroes.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, is on the Democrats’ squad, which practices on a ball field in Northeast Washington, according to his press secretary, Michael Zetts. Shortly before 8:30 a.m., Ryan posted two tweets: “My prayers are going out to [Steve Scalise], staff and Capitol Police officers who were involved with the horrible incident this morning. The violence is sickening. Wishing quick recoveries to all & thankful to [Capitol Police].”

State. Rep. John Boccieri, D- Poland, released a statement later in the morning wishing Scalise and the other victims a speedy recovery. When Boccieri was in Congress, he played  against Scalise in the congressional baseball game.

I was deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy this morning in Alexandria,” he said in the statement. “The bravery shown by Capitol Hill police demonstrates their professionalism and extraordinary training. I pray for their recovery, too.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.