House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire at the baseball field.
The annual sporting event, which takes place on Thursday, pits members of the Senate and House, a tradition that began in 1909, according to the event's website. Members of Congress practice in the weeks leading up to the friendly event, waking up early for morning practices with their teammates.
There were a few years when the game was canceled because of the Great Depression and World War II. In 1958, Speaker Sam Rayburn called for an end to the game because it became "too physical." It was officially restablished in 1962 with sponsorships.
The game has now turned into a charity event that benefits organizations including The Washington Literacy Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.
More than 50 Congress members will be participating in the 57th Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park on Thursday. The stadium is located southeast of the White House. The game was expected to start around 7 p.m.
Scalise would have joined 34 Republican members of Congress for the game, with Texas Rep. Joe Barton as the team's manager, according to Roll Call. The game would have honored the victims in the recent terror attacks in the U.K. British ambassador Nigel Kim Darroch was slated to throw the first pitch.
Scalise was with his aides at practice near a YMCA in Del Ray, Va., around 7 a.m. ET when he was shot in the hip. At least one aide was hit in the chest.
Organizers of the game said the event will go on as scheduled.