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UPDATED: Colorado officials react to shooting at congressional baseball practice

Author: Ernest Luning - June 14, 2017 - Updated: June 16, 2017

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A Capitol Hill Police officer walks past an automobile with the driver's window damaged at the scene of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot at a congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)A Capitol Hill Police officer walks past an automobile with the driver’s window damaged at the scene of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot at a congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Colorado officials, candidates and organizations reacted with shock, sadness and prayers to the shooting early Wednesday at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where Republican members of Congress were practicing.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, two Capitol Hill police officers and a congressional staffer were injured and appeared to be in stable condition, officials said hours after the shooting. The assailant, identified by authorities as James. T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, died after a gunfight with police, President Donald Trump announced in a televised address.

U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, both Democrats, were practicing at a nearby baseball field ahead of a congressional ballgame scheduled for Thursday when the shooting occurred.

Reactions to the shooting poured in Wednesday:

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter:

“I was thinking this morning while riding my bike to baseball practice about how great this game is for charity and how normal it all feels. I never expected something like this to happen. I’m deeply saddened and praying for Rep. Scalise and the others who were shot.”
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U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet:

“This morning’s shooting is a reminder that we must never take for granted the heroism of the Capitol Police, who risk their lives every day to protect our nation’s Capitol. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those injured, and we hope for their speedy recovery.”
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U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette:

“My heart goes out to Steve Scalise and all the others who experienced this horrific attack. I am keeping all the injured, along with their loved ones, in my thoughts.

“Members of Congress, our staff, and visitors to the U.S. Capitol place our safety in the hands of the Capitol Police every day, knowing how capable and professional these men and women are. As our thoughts turn to their injured colleagues, we also extend our deepest gratitude for the service of the entire force.”
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U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, via Twitter:

“The actions @CapitolPolice took today to prevent further injury is remarkable. They are all heroes.”

“Praying for @SteveScalise and others wounded in this horrific attack. Our nation stands as one.”


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U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were wounded in today’s senseless attack in the hope that they will fully recover. This is a time for all Americans to stand together, despite whatever political differences we may have, and to show that we are united by our love for this country and for each other. The fact that this annual charity baseball game has not been cancelled is a sign of the resilience that reflects our refusal to submit to the fear of political violence.”

Coffman also posted on Twitter:

“Currently on the House floor with my colleagues as we share a moment of bipartisan solidarity for those injured this morning.”


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U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, via Twitter:

“My staff & I are safe and accounted for. We are all praying for @SteveScalise, staffers, & family members impacted by this horrific attack.”


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U.S. Rep. Ken Buck:

“I was devastated to hear about the shooting in Alexandria today. Rep. Scalise is a good friend and I pray for a quick recovery. I’m also praying for the heroic Capitol Police officers who saved many lives today as well as the staff members who were shot. Today is a time for Congress to come together and remember the humanity of every individual who serves in this body.”
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U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, via Twitter:

“Praying for the safety of all of my colleagues who were at baseball practice this morning.”

“I’m incredibly grateful for the bravery shown by US Capitol police everyday. Prayers for the officers involved in this morning’s shooting.”


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U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, via Twitter:

“Congressional votes cancelled for today
Thoughts and prayers for the victims of the baseball shooting”


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Colorado Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hays:

“The vitriol directed at President Trump and Republicans generally has reached unacceptable levels. We must put an end to this and renew our commitment to America’s tradition of civil discourse. I was glad to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders condemn this act in the strongest possible terms. The brave officers who ended the attack deserve special recognition and thanks.”
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Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll:

“Our hearts are broken over the senseless violence that occurred at the Republican baseball practice this morning. Violence is never the answer, no matter what political opinion you may have, and we strongly condemn these horrific actions.

“Our thoughts are with Congressman Steve Scalise, the Capitol Police, congressional staff and all those impacted by today’s shooting. We also thank the heroic efforts by the Capitol Police that risked their lives to prevent others from getting hurt. We wish a full and speedy recovery for all of those affected by this tragic event.”
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Colorado Democratic Party, via Twitter:

“Violence is NEVER the answer. Our hearts go out to Rep. Scalise & all other victims impacted by today’s shooting.”


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Colorado Republican Party, via Twitter:

“‘We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.’ – Gov. Terry McAuliffe, just now”

“‘This hatefulness that we see in this country today over policy differences has got to stop.’ – Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)”


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House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Representative Scalise and the others wounded, and we hope for their speedy recovery. It’s a shame that the tradition of the annual congressional baseball game has been marred by a heinous act of violence that should have no place in our political discourse or anywhere in our society. Regardless of whether one plays for the Republican or Democratic team, we are all on the American team, and I hope it will be a bipartisan game this year.”
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House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise, the Capitol staff and law enforcement who were wounded in today’s attack, and with their families. We’re grateful to the armed Capitol Police for stopping what might have otherwise been a massacre. It’s time for the media and political leaders in Washington and Colorado to denounce the recent hate-inspired political rhetoric by so-called progressives against Republicans and return to the passionate and peaceful civil discourse that makes our country great.”
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Colorado Senate Republicans, via Twitter:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the baseball field attack in Alexandria. Thank you to the first responders who protect us.”


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Colorado Senate Democrats, via Twitter:

“Our hearts are with Rep. Scalise, & all those wounded in the shooting this morning in Alexandria. Thank you @CapitolPolice for your bravery.”


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State Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood:

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this morning’s shooting, and I am deeply saddened by this act of violence. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Capitol Police and to all those who serve and safeguard our democracy.”
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State Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs:

“The shooting upon Republican congressmen and their staff in D.C. this morning is a real tragedy. Emily and I are praying for all involved, especially those injured. Sadly, evil still confronts us and good people must never back down.”
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State Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City:

“Our public discourse should always remain civil. Violence is never ok. Wishing a full and speedy recovery to all those affected and my personal thanks to law enforcement for the quick response.”
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State Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, via Twitter:

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families of the shooting in Virginia.”


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State Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, via Twitter:

“Thoughts and prayers with Rep. Steve Scalise, his staff, and all others shot at the Congressional Baseball Game this morning.”


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18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler:

“I am sorry for what befell the innocent today in DC. No one deserves such treatment. We’ve gotten to a place and time in our country in which ‘tragedy’ is too often the only word to describe the bad things which seem to increasingly happen to good people. This is indeed tragic. So too it is evil. I am thankful for those who continue to protect us from such evil. I pray for the speedy recovery of the victims and for the end of evil done by Americans to each other.”
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Jason Crow:

“My thoughts are with all the Members of Congress, the fearless Capitol Hill Police and Rep. Coffman and his family as they come to terms with this senseless and intolerable act of violence.”
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Levi Tillemann:

“Today, Republican lawmakers, staffers, and the Capitol Police practicing for a baseball game were targeted in a mass shooting near the capitol. We join together with families, friends and the nation in praying for their safety and recovery. We look forward to working with our Republicans colleagues to build an America that’s safe and prosperous for all Americans.”

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This is a developing story.

— Ernest.Luning@coloradopolitics.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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