(Ben Cohen/Algemeiner.com and combined sources) Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a top Capitol Hill ally of Israel, was among five people wounded, including the gunman, on Wednesday morning in a shooting at a baseball field in Virginia.
At press time, the shooter, James Hodgkinson, had died of his injuries.
The Republican House majority whip was with fellow lawmakers at Simpson Field in Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., training for the annual congressional ballgame between Democrats and Republicans, when a gunman opened fire. Capitol Police quickly responded and shot the gunman, preventing what eyewitnesses said would have been a “bloodbath.”
Scalise, who was hit in the hip, was transported to a local hospital for treatment and was in stable condition, his office said.
Scalise is known as one of Israel’s most unshakable allies in Congress. Following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February in Washington, D.C., Scalise said they had discussed both radical Islamist terror and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He emphasized that he had told Netanyahu that “the Jewish State of Israel can count on the full support of Congress.”
In January, Scalise spearheaded a congressional resolution rejecting U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which accused Israel of “flagrant violations” of international law. “It’s time that we stand up with our ally and our best friend in the world, Israel,” Scalise said following the approval of the House resolution. “This week, we passed legislation to do just that and to push back against the U.N. resolution that actually makes it harder to get a peaceful solution in the Middle East.”
Scalise was a strident critic of the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. During a visit to Israel in November 2013, he slammed the interim agreement reached with Tehran by former Secretary of State John Kerry, which relaxed sanctions on Iran.