Suspect in Attack at Congressman's Office IDed

Rep. Gerry Connolly says man wielding bat asked for him before attacking aides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2023 2:37 PM CDT
Updated May 16, 2023 12:34 AM CDT
2 Injured in Attack at Congressman's Office
Rep. Gerald Connolly speaks during a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, April 19, 2023.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
UPDATE May 16, 2023 12:34 AM CDT

The man accused of attacking two congressional aides at Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly's Virginia district office has been identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham, 49. The Fairfax resident was arrested at the scene within five minutes of police receiving the call, per the Fairfax police department. He faces one felony count of aggravated malicious wounding and another count of malicious wounding. Pham sued the CIA last year, Fox News reports, accusing the agency of torturing him "from the fourth dimension."

May 15, 2023 2:37 PM CDT

Two staffers were injured Monday morning when a man wielding a metal baseball bat attacked the Virginia district office of Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. The 73-year-old lawmaker tells CNN that two aides, including an intern who was in her first day on the job, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. He says the intern was hit in the side and a senior aide was hit in the head. Connolly says the attacker, "filled with out-of-control rage," also used the bat to smash up the Fairfax office, breaking computers and shattering glass in a conference room.

Connolly says the man, a constituent from his district, asked for him before attacking staff members. He says he was at a ribbon cutting for a food bank when the man arrived at his office, which is less than 15 minutes from downtown Washington, DC. The attack was swiftly condemned by officials in Virginia, including Jason Miyares, the state's Republican attorney general, the AP reports. "Political violence is always unacceptable. The coward who did this should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Miyares tweeted. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia, called the attack an "extraordinarily disturbing development."

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In a statement, Connolly, who is serving his eighth term in the House, thanked police and medical workers. "I have the best team in Congress," he said, per NBC. "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." (More Gerald Connolly stories.)

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