North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker said that the gunman who shot five people at the GOP baseball team practice Wednesday morning was “there to kill as many Republican members as possible” and that he is shaken after the attack but okay.
Walker also wanted to thank the Capitol Hill Police for stepping in to engage the shooter after the attack began, mortally wounding him while trading fire.
Congressman Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, was wounded in the shooting. Scalise serves as House Majority Whip.
Scalise was playing second base at practice for a charity game this weekend when the shooter, who will not be named by this publication, began to fire on the assembled legislators from behind the third base dugout.
In all five were wounded, including Scalise, a staffer, a lobbyist, and two Capitol Hill Police officers.
Walker, who serves a pitcher on the GOP team, likely was very near Scalise when the shooting began.
In an email to his supporters Walker said that the attack seemed premeditated and he estimated the shooter fired more than 50 rounds.
To his supporters, Walker was more candid about his reaction to the attack saying in an email, “From my limited perspective, this seemed premeditated. I am personally thankful for the bravery of the Capital Police officers that responded and for the poor aim of the gunman. There were other injuries as fellow congressman and senators scrambled for cover. Thankfully, no one has died other than the gunman, but there are individuals in critical condition and they could use your prayers. I often talk about “tone” in our political debate – that we can disagree without hatred or contempt. I think this sentiment is especially true today even as details about the shooter and his motivations are revealed. We cannot allow our political rhetoric to escalate us to violence or divide us as Americans. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes today. It meant a lot. As you might imagine, I was shaken by these events and knowing that I was a target. Please pray for the victims of this violent act and their families.”
Shooter Reportedly in Anti-Republican Party Facebook Group
The shooter was a 66-year-old man, who was very outspoken on social media against President Donald Trump and was a Bernie Sanders supporter and reportedly a member of the Terminate The Republican Party group, though his membership appeared to have been removed after noon Wednesday.
Some in the group celebrated the shooting saying “Dude is a HERO in my book everyone of those [expletive deleted] stuck the knife in me over 60 times with there GO DIE HEALTHCARE VOTES” and “Now a true patriot” and “Sadly they missed Trump.”
The group has a little more than 13,000 members.
A post made around 1 p.m. on the group said that the group does not condone violence and merely supports voting Republicans out of office.
Walker is expected to speak in his home state in Raleigh at the Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference this weekend.