Rep. Jeff Duncan Says He Believes He Spoke to Gunman Before Va. Shooting

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.) said Wednesday that he believes he spoke to the gunman who opened fired on Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. before the shooting occurred.

A gunman who police identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill. shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.), two Capitol Police officers, and a congressional aide Wednesday morning while Scalise and other Republican congressmen were practicing for a charity baseball game. The shooting occurred at a baseball field in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood.

Before leaving the practice, Duncan spoke with someone who he believes was the shooter. Duncan described to reporters his brief conversation with the individual.

"I was there at baseball practice this morning. I actually left right before the shooting happened and had an interaction with who I believe was the shooter based on the profile that I saw on TV," Duncan said.

The congressman noted that the man asked whether the team practicing was composed of Democrats or Republicans, to which Duncan responded that it was a Republican team.

"I've given a statement to the Alexandria Police Department this morning after I heard about the shooting, and they asked me to come down there because I did have an interaction with someone in the parking lot who asked me if the team practicing was a Democrat or Republican team," Duncan said. "I told him they were Republicans. He said ‘OK, thanks' and turned around. I got in the car and left and found out that my Republican colleagues were targeted by an active shooter."

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) said he was with Duncan when the man approached to ask whether Democrats or Republicans were practicing.