Xuan-Kha Tran Pham is the suspect accused of assaulting two staff members in the Fairfax, Virginia, office of Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly on May 15, 2023, according to Fairfax City Police.
“Police are currently on scene at 10680 Main Street #140, the office of Congressman Gerry Connolly, investigating the assault of two staff members. The victims are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is in police custody,” Fairfax police tweeted.
The motive is not clear, according to the police press release naming Pham, 49, of Fairfax. According to NBC Washington, one of the injured staffers was an intern on her first day.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gerry Connnolly Says Xuan-Kha Tran Pham ‘Entered My District Office Armed With a Baseball Bat’
Connolly posted a statement about the incident on Twitter.
In the statement, Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia, said, “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.”
He added: “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.”
“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,” the news release added.
In the press release, Fairfax City Police labeled the attack a “malicious wounding arrest.”
They wrote that, on May 15, 2023, at 10:49 a.m., City of Fairfax Police responded to an “active assault at 10680 Main Street Suite #140.”
The investigation revealed that the suspect, Xuan-Kha Tran Pham, 49, of Fairfax, entered Representative Gerry Connolly’s district Office and “assaulted two Congressional staffers with a metal baseball bat,” the police release says. “One police officer also sustained a minor injury and is receiving medical treatment,” according to the release.
2. Xuan-Kha Tran Pham Is a Constituent Who ‘Was Filled With Out of Control Rage,’ Connolly Told CNN
Connolly told CNN journalist Manu Raju that the suspect was a constituent from his district, but he did not know him.
He said the man “caused wide damage in his office, shattering glass in a conference room and breaking computers along the way,” Raju tweeted.
“He was filled with out-of-control rage,” Connolly told Ragu, according to Ragu’s tweet.
Raju also tweeted, “Connolly was at a ribbon cutting at the time for a food bank when the assailant drove to his district office and entered the building. The congressman estimates it took police about five minutes to respond to the emergency call for help.”
Connolly was not in the office at the time of the assault, the police news release confirmed. Pham was taken into police custody on scene “within five minutes of police receiving the call,” the release says.
Police obtained warrants for felony aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding. Pham was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and held without bond, the release says.
3. Xuan-Kha Tran Pham Is Also Accused of Going Up to a Woman, Asking If She Was White & Smashing Her Windshield With a Bat About an Hour Before the Connolly Office Attack
NBC Washington journalist Drew Wilder tweeted that Pham is also accused in a “separate baseball bat attack about an hour earlier.”
Police say Xuan-kha Tran Pham went up to a woman in a parked car in the Chantilly area, asked if she was white, then smashed up her windshield with the bat, then took off. She was not injured. He was charged with assault: hate crime & felony destruction of property.
Virginia’s other senator also condemned the attack.
“Intimidation and violence — especially against public servants — has no place in our society,” tweeted Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
“This is an extraordinarily disturbing development, and my thoughts are with the staff members who were injured.”
No motive was determined, according to the police press release.
4. Xuan-Kha Tran Pham Was Accused in a 2022 Assault on Police Officers That Was Described as ‘Very Clearly a Mental Health Crisis,’ Reports Say
Wilder also tweeted that, on January 12, 2022, at 1:57 a.m., “officers responded to a home in the 12900 block of Point Pleasant Drive in Fairfax for a man who called dispatch stating he wished to harm others. Officers encountered the man outside the home when they arrived.”
Wilder added: “Officers attempted to take the man into custody. Xuan-Kha Tran Pham, of Fairfax, assaulted the officers and grabbed the officer’s firearm, attempting to take it. The officers sustained minor injuries. He was taken into custody and charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer.”
Wilder tweeted that a source told him that incident was “very clearly a mental health crisis” and Pham “was given resources and a treatment plan. Pham was found in compliance with that treatment plan and charges were dropped in September 2022.”
According to his website biography, Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly “is serving his eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which includes Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia.”
Prior to his election to Congress, he “served 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, including five years as chairman. Throughout his career, protecting and growing Northern Virginia’s economy has been his top priority,” the bio says.
“In Congress, he has played a key role in securing federal dollars for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening the Prince William County Parkway, providing ongoing support for Rail to Dulles, and securing the annual federal commitment of $150 million for the regional Metro system.”
According to the bio:
Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy on issues related to information security, including cybersecurity and privacy; government-wide federal information technology management and innovation; and procurement.
Congressman Connolly also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.
5. The U.S. Capitol Police Investigated About 7,500 Potential Threats Against Members of Congress in 2022
According to CBS News, the U.S. Capitol Police “investigated about 7,500 cases of potential threats against members of Congress in 2022.”
That number dropped from 9,600 in 2021, but it was twice the number from 2017, CBS reported.
Over the years, various members of Congress and their families have been victims of violence. High-profile examples including the beating of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, the attack against Republicans at a congressional baseball game, and the shooting of then U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords.
READ NEXT: The Allen, Texas, Mall Shooting Victims