House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) delivered a speech to the House of Representatives praising the heroism of the Capitol Hill Police and calling for unity across the aisle following the Wednesday shooting at a congressional baseball practice.
The attacker, who police identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., opened fire at Republican congressmen who were practicing for the bipartisan charity baseball game, wounding five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.).
Ryan said that the House was "horrified" by the attack, and was "praying for those who are attacked and their families."
"We are united. We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us," Ryan said, receiving a standing ovation.
Ryan thanked the first responders and the Alexandria, Va. Police Department, and accentuated his respect for the Capitol Hill Police. Two officers, Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, were injured in the attack.
"And I know this House wants to state unequivocally that we are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol police," he said.
"It is clear to me, based on various eye witness accounts, that without these two heroes, Agent Bailey and Agent Griner, many lives would have been lost," Ryan said.
Ryan also invoked Scalise, who he said agreed with his call to celebrate the police's bravery.
"Knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he's not gonna be able to play in the baseball game," Ryan said. "I also know that Steve wants all of us to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded."
Ryan again called for unity in the face of the attack, emphasizing that members of Congress "do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber."
"There is one image in particular that this House should keep. And that is a photo I saw this morning, of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning after hearing the news," said Ryan.
"We do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives," he said.
Ryan concluded his speech by once again reminding his colleagues to unite in the face of adversity.
"So before this House returns to its business, let's just slow down and reflect, to think about how we're all being tested right now, because we are being tested right now," he said. "I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together, to lift each other up, and to show the country, to show the world, that we are one House, the people's House, united in our humanity. It is that humanity which will win the day, and it always will."
The congressional baseball game will take place on Thursday.