All About the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity

House Whip Steve Scalise was reportedly shot in a mass shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where GOP House members were practicing for Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game.

The baseball game, set to be played at Nationals Park, is a tradition in which Democratic House members compete against Republican House Members. According to the game’s website, former professional baseball player Representative John Tener of Pennsylvania, organized the inaugural event in 1909.

Proceeds from the ticket sales go to charities in the Washington, D.C., area including The Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

The game’s website describes it as “the only annual partisan showdown beloved by all and enjoyed by thousands. Every year, with few interruptions, Senate and House members of each party team up to settle scores and solidify friendships off the floor and on the field.”

The website says that the Republicans and Democrats are tied with 39 wins and one tie each. The Republicans won last year’s face-off, 8 to 7.

Although teams used to wear uniforms with the words “Republicans” or “Democrats” embroidered on it, recent participants have worn uniforms of the professional or college teams in their congressional district or home state.

High-profile politicians such as Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann were on this year’s roster.

Up to 25 GOP members of Congress were on hand for the baseball practice, along with several aides.

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Multiple news outlets are reporting that Scalise was shot when the gunman opened fire with a rifle shortly after 7 a.m. at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks told CNN that up to 20 rounds were fired and that Scalise, from Louisiana, and two members of his protective detail were hit. Brooks said up to five people were shot.

Brooks also said  that gunman was behind the dugout when he opened fire. He said the gunman was shot by members of the congressional protective detail.

Scalese, after being hit, dragged himself across the field in an attempt to get to cover, Brooks said.

Sen. Jeff Flake said one of the injured security guards pursued the shooter while suffering a leg wound.

An Alexandria police spokeswoman confirmed to PEOPLE that officers had responded to a “multiple shooting,” but would not name any victims or confirm that a group of Congress members were attacked. The spokeswoman said victims had been transported to area hospitals.

Police said in a tweet that the suspect is in custody and “not a threat.”

“APD investigating multiple shooting 400 block E Monroe St,” officials wrote. “Suspect believed in custody. Stay from area, let emergency vehicles thru.”

In a statement the White House said that Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are aware of the shooting.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol police, first responders, and all others affected.”

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/congressional-baseball-game-charity-practice-shooting/

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