Statements from government officials regarding congressional bas - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Statements from government officials regarding congressional baseball practice shooting

Source: John Bel Edwards office Source: John Bel Edwards office

Below are statements from government officials regarding the shooting at a congressional baseball practice that wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise from New Orleans.

FULL STORY: Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise shot in Virginia; suspect in custody

At 10:30 a.m., Gov. John Bel Edwards held a moment of silence at the Louisiana State Capitol. After, he made a comment. regarding the incident. 

At the same time, President Trump held a press conference. 

President Donald Trump also released the following statement:

The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.

Gov. John Bel Edwards released this statement:

This appears to be an outrageous, cowardly attack on one of our own. Steve Scalise is a friend, colleague and fighter for the people of Louisiana. While details continue to unfold, I want to thank the Capitol Police, all the first responders and other members of Congress for their quick and heroic efforts. Reports indicate they took swift action to take down this madman and render aid. Donna and I are praying for Congressman Scalise, his wife Jennifer, their two children, Madison and Harrison, and all those who were injured. I would ask the people of Louisiana to join their prayers to mine for a quick recovery for Congressman Scalise.

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser released this statement: 

I ask all Louisianans and Americans to pray for my friend, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and all of those shot in today’s ridiculous and senseless shooting. Steve has been a great friend to my family and Louisiana throughout his years as a public servant. My utmost thanks and admiration goes to those members of the Capitol Police who bravely subdued the shooter and saved dozens of lives. This attack on our elected officials is an attack on our nation and each one of us, regardless of party. Let us all pray for a speedy recovery for everyone injured today and for peace throughout the world.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry released a statement:

My thoughts and prayers are with Steve as he has surgery and faces what will likely be months of recovery following the event’s that took place early this morning. Steve and I are former colleagues and great friends, having just had dinner earlier this week. He is an incredible public servant who not only serves our country in a leadership role in Congress, but also proudly represents the State of Louisiana. 

Additionally, I remain in prayer for the others who were shot. Though this situation is fluid, we have already heard of many acts of bravery in the midst of this tragedy. Like always, law enforcement officials were quick to act, risking their lives to protect others. Having served in Congress, I know firsthand what the Capitol Police did daily to keep the members of Congress safe. We are grateful for the swift actions that undoubtedly saved this event from being more heartbreaking.

Senator John Kennedy released the following statement: 

Steve is a good friend, and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Hating people because you disagree with them is wrong. It is un-Christian, it is un-American, and it has gotten worse. My thoughts right now are with Steve, his family, the aide who was shot, and the Capitol Police officers. It is just a bad day for America.

Senator Bill Cassidy spoke on the Senate floor and offered his prayers and support. He said the following:

This morning an unbalanced individual carried out a cowardly attack not only against members and staff of this Congress, but against Democratic institutions. This terrorist, and he is a terrorist, desired to destroy our Democratic institutions. We as a country cannot allow this to happen. If anything, this must strengthen our resolve to do what is right for our country and for each other. We cannot let this shooter defeat good.

I’ve known Steve Scalise for decades. I served with Steve in the Louisiana Senate and then in the US House of Representatives. I have called his wife Jennifer and will be available to help his family in any which way I can.

Steve is a man of good character. He loves the US and Louisiana. He loves the LSU Tigers, which of course is our mutual affection as well. It is a privilege to serve with someone who cares so deeply about the people whom we are both honored to represent. My prayers are with Steve, Jennifer and their children.

We also think of Zack Barth, Matt Mika, Agent David Bailey and Agent Krystal Griner. We think of them and are gratified they were able to receive medical treatment quickly and ask that everyone join in keeping they and their families in our prayers as well.

To all of them, we want them to know, that we in the US and in Louisiana support you.

I specifically commend the Capitol Police for all they do and again Agents Bailey and Griner for their bravery and quick action to protect those in danger. We are blessed for the service of the Capitol Police and fortunate that they were there to prevent this attack from being even more tragic.

Where do we go from here? Frankly we as a country need to come together, try and reinject civility into our political rhetoric. We can disagree on policy. It is that disagreement and our ability to discuss and debate these differences that makes democracy successful. But the key word here is “debate.”

There is a difference between debate and attacking the motives and good faith of another. Debates are healthy, productive and you respect those in the opposition. You discuss ideas and not perceived intentions.

When respect and good faith in the intentions of the other are lost though, perhaps it does more to hurt than to heal.

We as individuals need to look at how we use rhetoric, rhetoric that can cause someone who is unbalanced to commit an act of violence as we saw this morning. Anyone saying things to vilify another, to portray them as evil, we have to recognize that can drive some again to acts of violence.

Let’s do what we can to move this country to the era of respectful debate.

Now let me end where I began. We cannot let political terrorism win. We must stand firm in support for our democracy and our Democratic institutions. We must carry on not letting evil triumph. We do that by recognizing that we are all first children of God, then all Americans. We come together, stand united doing that which is best for our country and for each other.

Congressman Garret Graves released the following statement: 

Most importantly, we are thankful that our fellow Louisianian, Steve, is going to recover and remain strong. We will continue to pray for him, his wife Jennifer and kids as he goes through the healing process. We also pray for the staff and others wounded in today's attack.  

The heroic efforts of the Capitol Police protection detail cannot be overstated – their sacrificial patriotism prevented a massacre. This hero and shero risked their lives to save many others. God Bless them, and we pray for their speedy recovery. 

Today is sobering and frustrating. It is sobering because it reminds us how quickly these senseless attacks can destroy lives. These can be fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors. They are not nameless or faceless individuals. 

The attack is frustrating because I expect that this will ultimately demonstrate that words and rhetoric have consequences. Over the last several months, verbal attacks, divisiveness, and polarization have reached inappropriate and unhealthy levels in our government. Many thoughtlessly lob verbal grenades without considering the consequences. 

The 435 members of the House represent the great diversity of our amazing nation. We bring these broad perspectives and priorities of our districts together in the House to advance America.  It is our job to find common ground and to work together to actually solve problems. We can disagree and have different perspectives without being disagreeable.  Sadly, it seems, politics in many cases has devolved into a dehumanized ‎blood sport. Contributing to the problem, many in the media and bloggers have evolved from reporters to editorialists and provokers spreading misinformation and sensationalism. I apologize for any contribution I may have caused.   

All of us should take a big step back‎ to remember and embrace that above the tags of left, right, liberal, conservative and every title in between – we are FIRST Americans. This bond we share is more important than the politics we don’t. We must work together, from the foundation of our shared love of our country, our heritage and our freedom, to constructively create the America our countrymen and women deserve. Binding up the wounds will take time, but we must start now. 

The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement: 

In the wake of the recent and senseless shooting of United States Representative Steve Scalise - LA (Rep.), House Majority Whip and four other wounded individuals - the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus offers its prayers to the shooting victims and their families. 

'Today is another sad day in the American landscape where tragedy strikes and a gun is involved and innocent people are hurt and injured as a result of it,' said LLBC Chairman Joseph Bouie, Jr. 

Again, on behalf of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, we extend our heartfelt prayers to the Scalise family and the families of the other injured in the shooting. 

Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party Senator Karen Carter Peterson released the following statement: 

I am deeply saddened and troubled that anyone would inflict terror on public servants. Steve Scalise is my friend and former state legislative colleague. My heart goes out to him, the other victims involved, his family, and the brave law enforcement officers injured in this tragic incident.

The upcoming congressional ballgame that he and others were practicing for is one of few occasions that bring Democrats and Republicans together. I know personally that Steve and I share a core philosophy of standing up and fighting hard for what you believe in. He's strong and I look forward to his full recovery.

Several Louisiana officials took to Twitter to comment on the shooting.

RELATED: Politicians take to Twitter to condemn Alexandria shooting

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