Bat-Wielding Assailant Attacks Staffers in Connolly District Office
FAIRFAX, Va. — An individual armed with a baseball bat attacked two congressional staff members on Monday in the district office of longtime Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly.
“This morning, an individual entered my district office armed with a baseball bat and asked for me before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff,” the representative said in a statement posted to his website.
Connolly, who has represented Virginia’s 11th Congressional District since 2009, went on to say the attacker, later identified as 49-year old Xuan Kha Tran Pham of Fairfax, Va, was in police custody and that both staff members were transferred to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“Right now, our focus is on ensuring they are receiving the care they need. We are incredibly thankful to the City of Fairfax Police Department and emergency medical professionals for their quick response,” he said.
According to the Fairfax Police, Pham parked near the entrance of the 10,680 Main Street and appears to have proceeded directly to Connolly’s office armed with an aluminum baseball bat.
The police were called at 10:49 a.m., while the attack was ongoing, by employees who were hiding from the suspect.
Pham was arrested near the front of the first floor office as soon as the police arrived moments later.
He is facing charges for one count of Aggravated Malicious Wounding and one count of Malicious Wounding.
The U.S. Capitol Police have since joined the Fairfax City Police Department in investigating the attack, and in a release, said they are still unsure what the motive was behind the attack.
Special Agents with the United States Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section were dispatched to Fairfax, Virginia.
Both police departments are also coordinating their efforts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office.
“I have the best team in Congress,” Connolly said. “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.”
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a statement that he had spoken to Connolly on Monday to offer him and his staff the full support of the House Democratic Caucus.
“The safety of our members and of our staff remains of paramount importance, particularly given the increased instances of political violence in our country,” Jeffries said.
Last month, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger testified about the heightened threat climate across the country.
“One of the biggest challenges we face today is dealing with the sheer increase in the number of threats against Members of Congress— approximately 400% over the past 6 years,” Manger said. “Over the course of the last year, the world has continuously changed, becoming more violent and uncertain.”