Staffers attacked with metal bat at Virginia congressional office
He also damaged the office by breaking glass in a conference room and damaging computers
May 16, 2023 8:59am
Updated: May 16, 2023 8:59am
A Virginia man entered the district office of Representative Gerry Connolly, D-Va, armed with a metal bat on Monday and injured two staffers, the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.
The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Xuan Kha Tran Pham from Fairfax County, entered Connolly’s office at around 10:49 a.m. on Monday demanding to see the congressman.
Upon entering the office, Pham proceeded to hit the two staffers with a metal bat in the upper body, said Connolly’s chief of staff, Jamie Smith. He also damaged the office by breaking glass in a conference room and damaging computers. Pham was taken into custody five by Capitol Police minutes after the attack began.
Connolly, who represents Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, was not in the office at the time. One of the victims in the attack was an intern who was on her first day at her job. It is unclear who the other injured staffer is.
“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 individual is in police custody and both members of my team were transferred to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Connolly said in a statement.
Pham, who is a constituent, is facing one count of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of malicious wounding, according to the Fairfax City Police Department.
“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 incident is still under investigation and authorities are trying to determine the motive.
"Based on what we know right now, investigators do not have any information that the suspect was known to the USCP," said Capitol Police.
Last year, Pham sued the CIA, claiming that he had been “wrongfully” imprisoned “in a lower perspective based on physics” and had been “brutally tortured … from the fourth dimension.” The CIA dismissed the trial last month.
“This is a gentleman with a long history of mental illness,” Mr. Connolly said. “He’s been engaged in bizarre and untoward behavior in the past, including violent behavior. And he decided today, for whatever reason, to descend upon us and inflict more of the same. He needs intense treatment, I think.”