Speed Reads

Congressional baseball practice shooting

GOP Rep. Chris Collins suggests Democrats' 'rhetoric' led to the congressional baseball practice shooting

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) suggested Wednesday that Democrats' "rhetoric" was to blame for the shooting earlier that morning at a Republican congressional baseball practice, which left at least five injured including Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). "I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric," Collins said on WBEN radio. "The rhetoric has been outrageous — the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires."

Collins, a longtime supporter of President Trump, said he hoped the incident Wednesday would be "a wake-up call" for Democrats. "I'm not saying it will be. But let's hope we could disagree on a more polite, conversational basis," Collins said.

The Buffalo News reported that Collins "offered no evidence that the shooting was politically motivated." Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who was at the field in Alexandria, Virginia, when the incident occurred, told NBC News that the gunman seemed to be "there to kill as many Republican members as possible."