“This is not what today is about, but we have too many guns on the street,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said at a press conference where he expressed his thoughts and prayers for those shot on Wednesday morning and his gratitude to the law enforcement officers who responded.
Reporters asked McAuliffe whether he was worried about the safety of politicians. He responded that he was concerned about all Americans’ safety from gun violence. “We worry about this every day for all our citizens,” he said. “I talk about this every single day. This is a very serious issue.”
At the same press conference, FBI and police officials said they would not share any information about the shooter’s motivation. Tim Slater, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, which will lead this investigation because a federal official was attacked, said it was too early to rule out terrorism or to say whether the gunman specifically targeted members of Congress or Republicans.
Officials said that Capitol Police officers, who were on the scene before the shooting began to protect Rep. Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, and also Alexandria Police officers, who arrived within three minutes, fired shots back at the gunman. Two Capitol Police officers were hospitalized, and Chief Matthew R. Verderosa said they are in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
McAuliffe praised the Capital Police officers who were on the scene: “They saved a lot of lives today.”
Alexandria Police Chief Michael L. Brown said additional officers were monitoring the area for further disruptions, and police believe the neighborhood is safe. “This is not an active incident. The city is safe,” he said. “I want to reassure the community here in Alexandria that this city is indeed safe.”