Two members of Rep. Gerry Connolly’s staff were hospitalized Monday after they were attacked by a man wielding a baseball bat at the lawmaker’s district office outside Washington.
The 73-year-old Connolly (D-Va.), said in a statement that the suspect, 49-year old Xuan Kha Tran Pham, had “asked for me” before attacking the staffers.
“The individual is in police custody and both members of my team were transferred to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Connolly went on. “Right now, our focus is on ensuring they are receiving the care they need.”
The lawmaker told CNN one of his aides was struck in the head. An intern who was working her first day in the office was hit in the side.
“We are incredibly thankful to the City of Fairfax Police Department and emergency medical professionals for their quick response,” Connolly’s statement continued.
Sgt. Lisa Gardner, a spokeswoman for the City of Fairfax Police Department, said Monday afternoon at a press conference that the man entered the office at 10:30 a.m. and began wildly swinging a metal bat.
She did not disclose the attacker’s identity or comment on a potential motive.
“You could absolutely tell that the people inside were scared, they were hiding,” Gardner told reporters of the attack.
In his statement, Connolly referred to his staff as “the best team in Congress.”
“My District Office staff make 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,” he said.
The suspect is currently facing charges of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding, according to a press release from United States Capitol Police, who are coordinating with Fairfax police and the FBI on the investigation.
The news of Monday’s attack comes fewer than two weeks after authorities charged an author of feminist horror literature with battery after she threw her drink at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) during a wine festival.
Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) was assaulted this past February in the elevator of her apartment building in Washington, but threw hot coffee at her attacker to ward him off.
In October of last year, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was also hospitalized after a hammer-wielding man broke into the couple’s San Francisco home and bludgeoned Paul Pelosi over the head.
Connolly is currently serving his eighth term in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, which covers most of suburban Fairfax County and is one of the wealthiest districts in the country.