Early Wednesday morning, a gunman open fired on a group of Republican lawmakers who’d gathered at a park in Virginia for baseball practice. Reports of the incident say that the shooting injured several people, including at least one lawmaker, Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.), who serves as the House of Representatives’ majority whip. He is the third-highest ranked member of the Republican leadership in the House.
As news of the shooting broke, former Representative Gabby Giffords (D–Ariz.) posted a message on Twitter, expressing concern for her former colleagues. Giffords was herself the victim of an assassination attempt in 2011 when a gunman opened fire in a grocery store parking lot as the congresswoman met with constituents. Six people were killed and Giffords was hit in the head at close range. She survived but was left disabled and eventually resigned from Congress.
Giffords released a full statement later on Wednesday:
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you’re a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer. If you serve the institution of Congress, you’re connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy.
“I am heartbroken for the pain of Congressman Scalise, the other victims, and their family, friends, and colleagues who survived. I am thankful for the great courage of the Capitol Police, who were my protectors after I was shot and became my friends. I also know the courage it takes to recover from a shooting like this, and I know Steve and everyone there this morning have such courage in great supply.
“May all Americans come together today with prayers for the survivors, love for their friends and family, and the courage to go about everyday making this country its best. Our nation is resilient, and we always come back stronger.”
Since leaving her seat, Giffords has become a vocal advocate for gun control along with her husband, retired astronaut and Navy captain Mark E. Kelly. Last week, a Navy warship bearing her name was commissioned for service—the first to be named after a living woman since the Lady Washington (named after Martha Washington) was commissioned in 1776. At the commissioning ceremony on June 10, Giffords said she was honored that the 421-foot-long ship will carry her name, and noted that the vessel is “strong and tough, just like her crew.”
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Following the shooting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump also took to Twitter, calling Scalise a “true friend” and vowing that he would “fully recover.”
The president is expected to talk about the shooting at an address at the White House on Wednesday morning.
This story has been updated to include a full statement from Giffords.