tv ET Entertainment Tonight CBS June 14, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
[gunfire] >> shots being fired, and there are people running. victims involved. >> violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and i condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. >> we are strongest when we are unified and we work together for the common good. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley reporting tonight from washington. >> pelley: here's the latest on the attack today on republican members of the house and senate in alexandria, virginia. congressman steve scalise of louisiana, the third ranking republican in the house, is in critical condition tonight. he is one of four people shot
during practice for the congressional baseball game to be played tomorrow evening. two others were also injured in the attack. the gunman was killed by the congressman's security detail. chip reid is in alexandria. nancy cordes is at the capitol. we'll begin with chip. >> reporter: well, scott, we may be just outside of washington, d.c., but people who live in this neighborhood call it small town, u.s.a. you can see a playground behind me. at 7:00 a.m., there were parents and their children playing in this playground. over here you can see a baseball field. and there was a relaxed and jovial practice going on there by the republican members of the house of representatives when suddenly shots rang out. steve scalise, a congressman from louisiana, who is the third ranking republican in the house, was standing by second base. he suddenly went down, shot in the hip. he tried to crawl into the outfield to get away from the shooting. he left a trail of blood behind him. the assailant had a long gun, a rifle.
he also had a handgun. many of the members ran for safety enter the first base dugout. the assailant was firing from nearby the third base dugout. when they got there, they said, "why did we do this? "we're now sitting ducks." one police officer said, "if he had made it over there, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel." there was not a massacre, and the reason there was not a massacre was because police officers intervened. two officers for the capitol police and a number of officers for the alexandria police who got here in less than three minutes exchanged gunfire, dozens of shots in all were fired. they shot the assailant, and he later died. also, i can say there were four people in all shot by the assailant. scott, congressman scalise is now in critical condition after surgery. lobbyist matt mika is also in critical condition. he was shot in the chest. one of the bullets hit his lung. officer crystal griner of the u.s. capitol police was shot in
the ankle and is in good condition. staffer zack barth was hit in the leg. he's in good condition. i should also mention that one member of congress, as he was leaving, before the shooting began, spoke to a man who said, "who is playing in the field? are they republicans or democrats?" he believes it was the shooter. when he told him republicans, the shooting began shortly after that. one other perhaps good note, scott, is that republicans and democrats have decided not to give in to fear. they are going to play the annual capitol baseball game tomorrow as scheduled. >> pelley: chip reid at the scene of the attack. one of the most experienced congressional correspondents in america is nancy cordes. nancy, what is -- has the reaction been? >> >> reporter: well, scott, lawmakers are saying point bank they are shaken. it's not just lawmakers who were there at the practice. it's all of them. because steve scalise is one of the few lawmakers here on capitol hill who have a protective detail. most of them have no security whatsoever when they're here in d.c. or in their home districts.
so some of them were asking the question today: should we have more protection? can we use, for example, our own campaign funds to pay for extra security? then you had others who argued that that accessibility is a good thing, even roger williams, the texas lawmaker who was injured, sprained his ankle diving into the dugout, was on crutches today, he argued that he likes the fact that his constituents can come right up to him in texas and talk to him and share their views. >> pelley: tell us a little bit more about congressman scalise and his position in the leadership. >> he's very well-known, very well liked. he's someone who always has a smile on his face, a very conservative member, a conservative leader here in the house of representatives who came to congress in 2008. and because his job is counting votes, that's the job of the whip, he knows everyone, because he has to talk to each of these members, particularly republican members individually, get a sense of where they are on any particular bill, and try to
change their minds. so when it comes to leadership, he's one of the leaders that even the newest members of the house of representatives know the best. >> pelley: nancy cordes, thanks so much. the 66-year-old gunman, james hodgkinson of belleville, illinois, was said to be upset over the country's political direction. dean reynolds is in the gunman's hometown. >> reporter: 66-year-old james tom hodgkinson died from his wounds today but left behind a trail of bitterness directed at the rich, the republicans, and the president. hodgkinson was born and raised here, one of three children. he married and lived in town with his wife. he ran a home inspection business until last year when he lost his license, and, according to the local sheriff, richard watson, he had a record of damaging property. >> if he gave us some kind of indication that, you know, he was mental, if he was out there target practicing for some other reason, then we'd have looked further.
>> reporter: politically active. >> the 1% are just not giving a damn. >> reporter: he was supporter and volunteer for senator bernie sanders in 2016, and he was just as politically active online as he was in person inch a 2015 facebook post, hodgkinson shared a political cartoon about congressman steve scalise, saying, "here's a republican that should lose his job, but they gave him a raise instead." he also wrote a slew of letters to the editor of his local paper, "the "belleville news-democrat"." i have never said "life sucks," only the policies of the republicans. acquaintances described him as stub been and opinionated, but they were also shocked to hear today's news. >> he was the jokester of the party. he was always happy go lucky. >> reporter: dale walsh grew up with hodgkinson in belleville. >> i've known him pretty well all of my life. i just want to let people know that he wasn't evil, that he was i guess tired of some of the politics going on. >> reporter: now law enforcement is swarming the
small home on rolling hills lane with many questions his neighbors share. those neighbors said today that he was gone from his home for a while, and they just assumed he was on a road trip. and now we mow where he was. scott, the f.b.i. told us he was in alexandria, the place of the shooting, since march. >> pelley: apparently living out of his van. dean reynolds, thanks. congressman scalise was airlifted to med star washington hospital center a few miles north of the capitol building, and kris van cleve is there. >> reporter: heavily armed police remain at the washington hospital where house majority whip steve scalise is recovering in critical condition. his wife jennifer and two young children left louisiana for washington this afternoon to be by his side. the 51-year-old joined the baseball team not long after being elected in 2008 as a way the meet his colleagues. scalise just finished batting practice, and had taken his spot
at second base when the shooting happened. speaker paul ryan. >> he's likely really frustrated he's not going to be able to play in the baseball game. >> reporter: capital police special agents david bailey, a nine-year veteran, and crystal griner, were injured, as they shot the suspect who was -- while scalise was crawling for cover. representative joe barton was at the field with his ten-year-old son. they took cover as the officers went after the gunman. >> the heros are the police officers who attacked the shoot er and in doing so quite probably saved many, many lives. >> reporter: hill staffer zachary barth was in the outfield when he was shot in the leg. barth tweeted from the hospital, "i got shot this morning," adding he'd be okay. his boss, congressman roger williams hurt his ankle diving for cover. >> all the "times" he was
bleeding and we were under fire, he was texting letting people know we were under fire and we needed help. >> reporter: perhaps the most seriously wounded was matt mika, shot in the chest at least twice. friends say he's always cheery and ready with a smile, especially when it comes to his love of baseball. >> everybody is praying for mika. >> reporter: mika played on the g.o.p. baseball team when he worked on the hill. now working as a lobbyist he was back as a volunteer coach. scott, today while in critical condition in between surgeries, mika offered a thumbs-up to his family. >> reporter: kris van cleve, thanks. >> pelley: shortly after the attack, president trump called for unity. >> everyone on that field is a public servant -- our courageous police, our congressional aides who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion, and our dedicated members of congress, who represent our people. we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these
to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country. >> pelley: and just hours after the attack in alexandria, there was another mass shooting at a ups warehouse in san francisco. john blackstone is there. >> reporter: the street outside the ups distribution center filled with many of the building's 350 workers in the minutes after the shooting started. >> possible active shooter. >> reporter: drivers were gathering for a morning meeting when a ups employee with an assault pistol opened fire. marvin calderon had just finished loading his truck. >> i was scream, "get out, get out, go, go, go." everybody started running. >> reporter: as workers rushed out, san francisco police officers rushed in.
deputy chief tony chaplain. >> one contact team located the suspect, who was still armed with an assault pistol. the suspect put the gun to his head and discharged the weapon. >> reporter: before killing himself, the gunman shot five ups employees, three of them are dead. san francisco mayor ed lee praised ups workers. >> they're happy, hard-working people, and we know them. we know them in every single neighborhood of the city. >> reporter: the white ups building back here remains a crime scene. police have not released names of the victims or the shooter, but they believe he acted alone. scott, so far there is no suggestion of motive. >> pelley: john blackstone with more of this difficult day. john, thank you. coming up on this expanded edition of the "cbs evening news," we will hear from former congresswoman and mass shooting victim gabrielle giffords, and we will speak to her husband, mark kelly.
>> pelley: the most rivetting accounts of the shooting in alexandria came from members of congress. >> we're at batting practice. we have a congressional baseball game. we play every year. >> there were a number of members and staff fielding. steve scalise was on second base, playing second base, fielding balls, and all of a sudden we heard a very loud shot. [gunfire] >> he had a rifle that was clearly meant for the job of taking people out. >> it was coming around the fence line, and he was with... he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. but if we didn't have return fire right, there he would have come up, each one of us, and shot us point blank.
i assume people have been calling 911 already. >> shots being fired. there are people running, possibly victims involved. >> there are shots being fired. >> yes, we have multiple calls come in at this time. >> i got behind a big tree, a big oak tree behind the batting cage, but it took me a few second, and i wasn't positive if there was one shooter or two, but also what direction the bullets are coming from. the bullets are landing a couple feet from me. >> joe barton's boy was here, a ten-year-old was shagging balls. we got him into the dugout and stuffed him under the bench. [gunfire] >> capitol hill police immediately began... to fire.
and alexandria police also immediately came and began the return fire. they shot the shooter. >> i'm not sure who shot him, alexandria police or capitol hill police. he goes down on his face. they go over and handcuff him. >> we have one in custody. there's also a victim down in the baseball field. >> hey, is that guy okay out there? has that guy been shot? is he okay? is anybody talking to him? >> we could see steve scalise out on the field. he had dragged himself after he was shot from near second base about ten or 15 yards into the field. >> the sad thing is nothing could happen. he laid there, but he was crawling so we knew he was alive. >> i was the first out to steve, and then brad, another member from ohio, who is a physician, came out, and we applied pressure on the wound. >> i felt like i was back in iraq as a surgeon, and steve was conscious and okay. >> i got steve scalise's phone
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>> pelley: members of congress and folks from all across the political spectrum weighed in on the alexandria shooting today on twitter. the newtown action alliance, which includes families of victims of the sandy hook massacre, said approximately 500,000 americans have been killed or injured by guns since
sandy hook. thoughts and prayers are not enough. and former arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords targeted and grievously wounded in a 2011 mass shooting wrote, "my heart is with my former colleagues, their families, and staff, and the u.s. capitol police, public servants and heroes today and every day." giffords went on to call the ambush an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy. earlier today we spoke to her husband, retired astronaut and navy captain mark kelly. >> we have a lot of friends that are tap toll police officers. gabby had capitol police protection for a pretty extended period of time after she was nearly assassinated, so we became very close with them, and it's a really tragic day for democracy. >> pelley: a tragic day for democracy. why do you say that? >> well, you know, you have
members of congress meeting there, and somebody showed up to kill them, and that should not happen in this country or any other country. >> pelley: separate from what happened today, where are the loopholes in background checks in america that you'd like to see plugged? >> well, i mean, a lot of places. you can walk into a gun show and buy a gun without getting a background check. you can also do that over the internet. that doesn't make sense. we know felon, domestic abusers and suspected terrorists buy firearms in that way. so we should close those loopholes. >> pelley: finally, tell us how your wife is these days, day the day? >> you know, she's good. i mean, her injury, she was, as people know, she was shot from about three feet away with a neighbor millimeter in her head. it's a serious, traumatic brain injury, but she's in a good mood. she's enthusiastic. she just had a u.s. navy ship named after her, lcs10, now the
u.s.s. gabrielle giffords. that was a happy day. today was a rather sad day for her. we shouldn't have to wake up, you know, month after month, and see things like this happen. >> pelley: mark kelly, all best wishes to your wife and to you. thanks. >> thank you, scott. >> pelley: and we'll be back from capitol hill in just a
and certainly every sunday, i pray for all of you, all of you together. we are called for a purpose to this body. it's a great thing. and we know what it means to each of us to serve, and we recognize that in others. and we also recognize that you have your constituents, we have ours, and we respect you and your constituents, who sent you here, all worthy of respect. >> for all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. these were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. these were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. so before this house returns to its business, let's just slow down and reflect, think about how we're all being tested right
now, because we are being tested right now. i ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together, to lift each other up, and to show the country, to show the world that we are one house, the people's house, united in our humanity. it is that humanity which will win the day, and it always will. >> pelley: americans all on this terrible day near our nation's capitol. that's our special expanded edition of the "cbs evening news" tonight from washington. our coverage of this shooting will continue first thing tomorrow. don't miss "cbs this morning." for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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