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Bat-wielding perpetrator reportedly attacks congressman's office, sending two staffers to the hospital — including intern on first day of job

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Two congressional staffers for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) were hospitalized Monday after a bat-wielding individual reportedly entered his district office and assaulted the staffers.

Connolly explained in a statement that the perpetrator, armed with a baseball bat, entered his district office in northern Virginia Monday morning. The perpetrator then "asked" to see Connolly "before committing an act of violence against two members of my staff." Connolly was not present at the office at the time.

Both staffers were hospitalized. Their names were not released, but their injuries are fortunately "non-life threatening," according to Connolly. The lawmaker later told a reporter one of the victims is an intern whose first day was Monday.

Connolly said police quickly apprehended the perpetrator.

"I have the best team in Congress. My District Office staff make themselves available to constituents and members of the public every day," Connolly said in a statement. "The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating."

Fairfax police confirmed they had apprehended the suspect, but did not release that person's name. It's not immediately clear what charges the suspect faces.

Connolly told a CNN reporter the perpetrator is a constituent, though he does not know the person.

Anything else?

Without knowing the motive behind the attack, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) connected the attack to "increased instances of political violence."

But to his point, members of Congress and their staff have been subjected to an increasing amount of violence in recent years.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R) was nearly killed when a gunman opened fire on him and other Republican lawmakers in 2017. Now-former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) was attacked while running for governor last year. The husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was injured in a brutal attack last year. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) was violently assaulted in February in an elevator.

More from CBS News:

Last year, the U.S. Capitol Police investigated about 7,500 cases of potential threats against members of Congress. It was a slight decrease from 2021, when there were 9,600 case, but the number of cases in 2021 doubled from four years earlier.

Meanwhile, Jeffries said that he had spoken to the House sergeant-at-arms and Capitol police and asked them to continue "collaborating with our members." Members of Congress, outside of senior leadership, do not travel with security details.

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