FORT WORTH, Texas (KXAN) — Texas Congressman Roger Williams, R-Austin, is back home and speaking out after the shooting attack that left one of his Republican colleagues in critical condition.
It happened Wednesday morning, June 14, on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where the GOP Congressional Baseball Team was practicing for their annual charity game.
Authorities say the gunman fired dozens of shots with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle, hitting three people before officers killed him.
At a news conference Saturday in Fort Worth, Rep. Williams said he thinks it’s wrong for people to call for gun control measures in the wake of this shooting.
“We’re dealing with a person — I’m not so sure he’s a Republican or a Democrat. I think this person has genuine issues, mental illness, to get up one day and say, ‘I’m going to get up and go kill some people and I’m going to kill some congressmen,’” he said. “I don’t see it that way. I just think this person had some real issues.”
Investigators did not reveal a motive for the attack, but the shooter’s social media profile indicates he strongly disliked Republican policies and opposed President Donald Trump.
Williams says the shooting could provide an opportunity to ease back on angry political rhetoric.
“I hope we use this as a building block and not a stumbling stone — or whatever you want to call it — to begin to get some peaceful dialogue going back among people who can’t agree, should agree to disagree, but not to where we get to this point,” the congressman said.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was critically wounded in the attack. He is still recovering in the hospital.