A gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional team practice today in northern Virginia, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was wounded. The suspect was identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, of the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Il. He was killed by police.
A gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball team practice today and at least one congressman, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), was wounded, USA Today reports. The suspect was killed. He was identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Il., a St. Louis suburb. A Facebook page belonging to a person with that name includes pictures of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and rhetoric against President Trump, including a post that reads: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” The practice session was almost over when the shooting occurred, said Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN). “I heard a bang, and I thought it sounded like a gun. I never saw a shooter,” he said. “I heard him. I was close to the damn thing. Some of our people have been hit. This is horrible. I got bloody running and jumping into the dugout.” The shooter reportedly asked if Republicans or Democrats were practicing before firing shots.
The wounded also included at least one Capitol Police officer and Hodgkinson, the Washington Post reports. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown said two of his officers engaged in “gunfire and return fire.” Brown said five people were taken to local hospitals. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) estimated that 50 to 100 shots were fired during batting practice. There were 50 to 60 people at the practice, including House members, senators and their staffs. “Many have been shot, but a lot like me got bloody running for cover,” Brooks said. Brooks told CNN that Scalise “was not able to move under his own power. He was dragging his body from second base. There was not a whole lot we could do. He was shot in the hip … It’s not easy when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself. You feel helpless.”