Colorado Leaders React To Shooting Of U.S. House Majority Whip

WASHINGTON (CBS4/AP) — Members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation are reacting to the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others Wednesday.

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U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Majority Whip (R-La. 1st District) (credit: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Scalise was shot in the morning at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, officials said. His wounds were not believed to be life-threatening. Police said a suspect in the shooting was in custody and “not a threat.”

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Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, said prayers were said on Capitol Hill, “We said a prayer for our friends who had just gone through this over at the Republican practice field. That’s really what should be going on.”

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Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District (credit: CBS)

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, tweeted: “Praying for Majority Whip Scalise and everyone else who was injured this morning. Still waiting for more details.”

“I think it is something that unifies members of Congress and makes us really think about the rhetoric that we use,” said Buck. “I have certainly said things in the past that I wish, in retrospect, that I hadn’t said. I think that most members feel the same way.”

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Rep. Ken Buck (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

Sen. Michael Bennet, Colorado’s Democratic senior senator, tweeted: “Still awaiting details, but my thoughts and prayers are with Steve Scalise, Capitol police officers, and all those who were injured.”

Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, tweeted: “Thoughts and prayers w my Republican baseball friends this morning. Dem practice cancelled holding in dugout w security”

Later he said, “This is America’s past time, this is innocent and fun, it will never be the same. We’ll always be looking over our shoulders.”

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Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District (credit: CBS)

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with my colleagues and staff who were at the Congressional baseball practice this morning.”

Coffman, an Iraq War veteran, was shaken up, “This is a whole different dimension,” but said the community on Capitol Hill was coming together, “It’s so positive to see Republicans and Democrats come together as one and as Americans and not as partisans.”

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Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional District (credit: CBS)

Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado’s Republican junior senator, tweeted: “Praying for @SteveScalise and others wounded in this horrific attack. Our nation stands as one.” and “The actions @CapitolPolice took today to prevent further injury is remarkable. They are all heroes.”

Some tweeted not-so-positive thoughts and reactions, something Gardner said did not have a place in the aftermath of a shooting.

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Sen. Cory Gardner (R) Colorado (credit: CBS)

“That’s not who we are as a country and nobody condones this kind of action and no one should condone this kind of action. So I hope that we can learn from this on the left and the right,” said Gardner.

A congressional aide said Scalise was in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said several other people also were hit, including two law enforcement officers. Brooks said that Scalise, 51, was down on the ground with what Brooks described as “a hip wound.”

Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., said Scalise was standing on second base when he was shot.

“I was looking right at him,” Bishop told Detroit radio station WWJ. “He was a sitting duck.”

Brooks said the Scalise “crawled into the outfield, leaving a trail of blood.”

“We started giving him the liquids, I put pressure on his wound in his hip,” Brooks said.

Scalise is the No. 3 House Republican leader. He was first elected to the House in 2008 after serving in the state legislature.

Rep. Jeff Duncan said in a statement that he was at the practice and “saw the shooter.”

“Please pray for my colleagues,” Duncan said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said Scalise’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening and that a member of the security detail was also shot.

Katie Filous was walking her two dogs near the field when she heard “a lot of shots, probably more than 20.” She said the shooting “went on for quite a while.”

Filous said she saw the shooter hit a uniformed law enforcement officer, who she said was later evacuated by helicopter. She said the officer had gotten out of a parked car, drawn a handgun and shouted something to the gunman, who then fired.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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