According to the police, two staff members of Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly were assaulted by a man who attacked them with a metal baseball bat at the congressman’s district office in northern Virginia on Monday morning. The suspect has been identified as Xuan Kha Tran Pham, a 49-year-old resident of Fairfax. He is currently in custody and is being charged with aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding.
During the time of the attack, Congressman Connolly was attending a ribbon-cutting event at a nearby food bank. The incident took place shortly before 11 a.m. when the suspect arrived at Connolly’s office. The congressman stated that the suspect approached an intern, who was on her first day, at the reception desk and inquired about him.
“And she told him what he didn’t want to hear, which was that I wasn’t there. He then proceeded to beat her with a bat,” Connolly stated.
Subsequently, upon hearing the disturbance, additional staff members rushed to the reception desk, at which point the assailant redirected his aggression towards them and struck a senior aide in the head.
“They had to taser him, he was that agitated and violent. And I understand there was a bit of an altercation and one police officer had minor injuries from it.”
The investigation into the incident is being conducted by both the Capitol Police and the Fairfax City Police Department.
Connolly added: “Right now, our focus is on ensuring they are receiving the care they need. 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.”
According to federal court records, an individual sharing the same name as Pham and residing in Fairfax County filed a lawsuit against the CIA in May 2022. The lawsuit was characterized by a handwritten and nonsensical complaint, where the plaintiff alleged that the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned them from a lower perspective and subjected them to brutal torture with a degenerating disability since 1988. The plaintiff requested to be cured and returned to a normal condition through digital technology, along with seeking compensation amounting to $29,000,000 for their extensive suffering and losses. The Justice Department moved to dismiss the case in March.
In the previous year, the U.S. Capitol Police conducted investigations into approximately 7,500 potential threats targeting members of Congress. This marked a slight decrease compared to the year 2021, during which there were 9,600 cases. However, the number of cases in 2021 had doubled compared to four years earlier.
Following the attack, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy condemned the incident as “heinous” and expressed that Connolly’s colleagues were offering their prayers for the swift recovery of the injured staff members.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries emphasized the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of lawmakers and their staff in a statement, particularly in light of the increasing instances of political violence in the country.