Police arrest suspect in Virginia political staffer assaults

May 16, 2023

Two Democratic staffers for Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA) were attacked on Monday in his district office in Fairfax, and police detained a suspect in the assaults. 

“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. 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,” Connolly said in a statement.

Connolly praised his staff and said he was devastated about the attacks.

“I have the best team in Congress. 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 added.

The suspect

The suspect was later identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham, 49, of Fairfax.

He faces charges of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding, according to Capitol Police.

No motive was given by police for the attack.

Connelly is serving his eighth term in Congress and is 73 years old.

Security increased

Security at the Capitol has been increased because of threats and the January 6 breach, but no such effort has been made at the district level.

The latest bill also provided for home security for lawmakers, but that wouldn't have helped in this case either.

The district office in Fairfax is less than 15 miles from Washington, D.C., but it might as well have been across the country.

Maybe it's time to take the intensity of politics in the U.S. down a notch so people don't think it's perfectly acceptable to assault those they disagree with.

Both sides guilty

Both sides have been guilty of this, especially with certain issues like abortion and gun control, on which both parties have strong positions. Many of those who have committed these crimes have mental health conditions as well, but it isn't that hard to see their reasoning when things get distorted in their minds.

When you're calling the other side a killer, it's not that much of a leap to want to hurt or kill them over it, and that's got to stop if we don't want to end up in chaos.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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