Local congressional delegation condemns violence in Virginia

A member of the Congressional Republican softball team is allowed to leave the scene of a multiple shooting involving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The shooting in Alexandria, Virginia in which several people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, sent shockwaves through both sides of the aisle.

The shooting took place during a practice for Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game, which is expected to be held as planned.

The members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation aren’t playing in the game but they often attend as fans, and on Wednesday they expressed how disturbed they were about the attack on one of their colleagues.

“This was a senseless and tragic act of violence,” Sen. Jack Reed said.

“I condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms,” said Rep. Jim Langevin.

The offices of both Langevin and Cicilline said the congressmen still plan to attend the baseball game Thursday night.

“It’s one of those rare moments of levity and bipartisanship where you can put politics aside,” Langevin said.

Below are the full statements from Rhode Island’s and Massachusetts congressional delegations in response to the shooting:

“I am shocked and saddened by the news of this horrible and senseless shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia this morning. My thoughts and prayers go out to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the others injured during this heinous act. I salute the first responders for their rapid response and the brave Capitol Police officers who put their lives on the line to protect Congress each and every day.”  — Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

“I was shocked and angered to learn of this horrible, cowardly shooting. My thoughts and prayers are with my colleague, Steve Scalise, and all those who were injured this morning. I am extraordinarily grateful for the heroic actions of the Capitol Police. There is no question that their bravery saved the lives of my colleagues, their staff, and others who were at the ballpark. I am thankful for their service, and I will continue to pray for the full and speedy recovery of the victims in Alexandria.” — Rep. David Cicilline, (D-RI)

“This appears to be a senseless act of violence and it is unacceptable.  Our hearts are with the victims and families impacted by this shooting and we wish them a full and speedy recovery.  We are all grateful to the first responders who were on the scene.  We salute them and the law enforcement officials who quickly responded.  There is an ongoing investigation and we need to get all the facts, but we must also be clear that violence is never the answer.” — Sen. Jack Reed, (D-RI)

“I am shocked and disturbed by the reports of the shooting incident in Virginia this morning. My heart goes out to my fellow members of Congress, to their staffers, and to the Capitol Police officers at the scene.” — Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI)

“Today Americans are united in our grief, our heavy hearts, our gratitude for quiet heroes and our resolve to come together, to be a better version of the country we love. We keep Steve Scalise, Zack Barth, Matt Mika, Crystal Griner and David Bailey in our prayers. But we are also united by an unsettling feeling that this has gone too far, that in recent years our political system has given intolerance unprecedented cover and inexplicably excused those who scapegoat, target or hate. The responsibility for today’s vicious attack lays squarely at the feet of the gunman. But the responsibility for where we go from here lies in the hands of a nation that must show more than unity of reaction, but unity of response.” – Rep. Joe Kennedy III, (D-MA)