BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lawmakers came into Wednesday's session with very heavy hearts following the shooting of Steve Scalise in Virginia.
They say he is more than just a former coworker, but he was also a true friend. Legislators started by joining together for a moment of prayer. Governor John Bel Edwards said some words before lawmakers bowed their heads to pray for Scalise, his family, and the other victims of Wednesday morning's attack that left four others injured.
Scalise served for 14 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he built relationships with many current lawmakers.
"Unbelievably shocking," said Representative Helena Moreno. "Steve is a wonderful person. Even though we are on different party lines, we have always been great friends."
"I was scared, of course," Rep. Ted James said. "When you hear anybody was shot, of course it goes to the worst. So I was you know, ecstatic to hear that the congressman was alert and that he was talking and on his way to surgery."
"I just wanted to stop for a few minutes and just process that," said Rep. Sam Jones. "Because he's a friend and good person. All that. Just the insanity of this whole thing is just indescribable to me."
Lawmakers resumed talks about the budget after the morning prayer. The special session is scheduled to adjourn next Monday.