CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The only South Carolina GOP lawmaker on a Congressional charity baseball team, says he left the field just before a gunman opened fire.
South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan, the only Palmetto State GOP lawmaker on the team, posted a message on his Facebook page moments after the shots were fired stating he is safe.
Duncan said he was at the baseball practice, but left before the shooting for a meeting. However, he also said he believes he saw the shooter and was in the process of giving a statement to police.
Police responded at approximately 7:09 a.m. to reports of shots fired at or near a YMCA field where Republican Capitol Hill lawmakers were having baseball practice, according to reports. The charity baseball game was scheduled for Thursday.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, was among those shot, according to Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks.
Other South Carolina lawmakers have posted messages on social media to let people know they are safe and to ask for prayers for the victims.
Sanford also issued a statement on the incident:
"My prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise and others who were injured this morning at the congressional baseball game practice. Thank you to all who have reached out to us with their concerns. My staff and I were not there.
"The U.S. Capitol Police deserve praise for their courage this morning. They likely prevented more injuries, and that commitment is laudable in the extreme. South Carolina knows all too well the sacrifice that the men and women of the Capitol Police make to serve and protect Congress. Indeed, we mourned for Jacob "J.J." Chestnut of Myrtle Beach back in 1998 when he and another officer were killed protecting then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now heading up the investigation into the shooting.