South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan told CNBC on Wednesday he believes he spoke to the gunman before the man started shooting on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
Duncan said he and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., decided to leave the congressional baseball practice early to make a meeting. As they were walking through the parking lot, they were approached by a man who asked if the team on the field was Republican or Democrat, he said.
"We said it was a Republican team," Duncan said on "Squawk on the Street." "He said, 'K, thanks.' There was nothing earth-shattering about it."
Duncan and DeSantis later told CNBC they saw pictures of the alleged gunman, identified by NBC News as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Illinois, and believe it's the same person.
Speaking to reporters, Duncan said: "Based on who I saw, and the description I gave to the Alexandria Police Department, fits the picture that is being shown on TV."
The suspect died from injuries sustained when he was taken into custody, said President Donald Trump, in a brief address shortly before noon ET.
DeSantis told CNBC he saw the individual probably five minutes before the shooting. "We heard the news when we got back to the Hill. We were shocked," he said.
"The fact that Steve Scalise was participating meant you had the security. So you see the tinted SUV. You see the Capitol Police. For the average person they look pretty similar to Secret Service," DeSantis said.
Had Scalise not been there, the officers wouldn't have either, and "I think we would have seen a major massacre," DeSantis said.
More coverage of the shooting
- GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, others shot at congressional baseball practice in Virginia
- Rep. Tom Rooney: I left 4 minutes before shooting but didn't see anything suspicious
- By the second gunshot, 'we knew it was something real,' Rep. Jack Bergman says
- Rep. Wenstrup: I was in batting cages when the gunman started shooting and everyone hit the ground