Newsweek – Two staffers for Representative Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, were attacked by an individual armed with a baseball bat on Monday morning, the congressman said.
The suspect, who has not been identified by law enforcement, entered Connolly’s district office in Fairfax, Virginia, carrying a baseball bat and asked to meet with the congressman. He then attacked the two staffers, Connolly said in a statement.
Both staff members were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and the suspected attacker has been arrested, according to the statement.
The suspect has been identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham, 49, of Fairfax, Virginia, according to a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP). He is being charged with one count of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of malicious wounding. His motive remains unclear, and he was not known to authorities before the attack.
“I have the best team in Congress,” Connolly wrote. “My District Office staff made themselves available to constituents and members of the public every day. The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating.”
Connolly represents Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, which encompasses suburbs of Washington, D.C. He said his current focus is ensuring his staff members “are receiving the care they need.”
CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted that Connolly told him the suspected attacker struck one senior aide in the head with a metal bat and hit an intern, who was on her first day at the job, on the side with the bat. The attacker also allegedly shattered glass in a conference room and broke computers during the assault, Raju said.
Fairfax City Police tweeted on Monday afternoon, “Police are currently on scene at 10680 Main Street #140, the office of Congressman Gerry Connolly, investigating the assault of two staff members. The victims are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is in police custody.”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, condemned the attack.
“Violence does not belong in our political system and my prayers are with Rep. Gerry Connolly’s staff for a speedy recovery. We’ve seen this against our judiciary, we’ve seen this against our legislative branch and it has no place in our Commonwealth,” he wrote on Twitter.
Other lawmakers responded to the attack Monday afternoon. Representative Don Beyer, also a Virginia Democrat, tweeted: “This is very, very scary. Sending my best wishes to @GerryConnolly and his team, with hopes for swift recoveries of his staffers who were injured in this violent attack. My thanks to the authorities working to keep everyone safe.”
Democratic Senator Mark Warner tweeted, “Intimidation and violence – especially against public servants – has no place in our society. This is an extraordinarily disturbing development, and my thoughts are with the staff members who were injured.”
“Awful. I condemn this attack against Rep. Connolly’s team and am glad to hear his staffer’s injuries are not life threatening. Violence is never acceptable. Rep. Connolly and his team are in my prayers,” tweeted Republican Representative Ashley Hinson.
The incident follows a separate attack against another congressional staffer. In the past six years, the number of threats against members of Congress has increased by 400 percent, according to the USCP’s statement.
In March, a staffer for Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, was “brutally attacked in broad daylight” less than 1.5 miles from the United States Capitol, Axios reported. The alleged attacker, 42-year-old Glynn Neal, was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill using a knife.
Seems like Democrats in office didn’t respond like that to the 2020 George Floyd
“Peaceful Protests” in over 500 cities where millions of dollars of destruction and enough murders to fill one of those “Yellow School Buses;” or to the attacks on Republican Congressmen, or Supreme Court Justices over te past few years
Ah! but let that stray dog leave a memento on their lawn and see the reaction.
I don’t approve, but I like to remind them of their hypocrisy
Didn’t see my reply printed, Is there a problem with the truth being mentioned?
Where is my first comment?
Most websites, including conservative/Republican ones, ban the truth…
Democrats banning assault baseball bats with a mind of their own…