Scalise Shooting Suspect Identified as James Hodgkinson
The shooter at the Republican congressional baseball practice has been identified by law enforcement officials as James Hodgkinson.
According to reports, Hodgkinson was 66 years old and had an Illinois driver's license. He was taken into custody and has since died of injuries sustained during a shootout with Capitol Hill police.
A Facebook page belonging to a person with the same 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 Washington Post reported.
Hodgkinson was a licensed home inspector in Illinois according to public records, but his license lapsed last November.
A friend of Hodgkinson’s, Charles Orear, told the Post he met Hodgkinson in Iowa while they were helping to campaign for Sanders. Orear described Hodgkinson as a “quiet guy.”
“He was this union tradesman, pretty stocky, and we stayed up talking politics,” Orear said. “He was more on the really progressive side of things.”
The shooting took place as a GOP congressional baseball team was practicing in Alexandria, Virginia, ahead of a charity game between Republicans and Democrats scheduled for Thursday.
Multiple people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot in the hip. Scalise underwent surgery, but is expected to be OK.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was at the practice, said that it would have been a "massacre" if it weren't for the brave actions of Capitol Hill police officers, who were present as part of Scalise's security detail.
“We were so lucky Capitol Hill Police were there,” Paul said. “They saved our lives.”
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) said our political rhetoric has grown so intense and hateful that now it has led to gunfire.
"This has got to stop, and it's got to stop today," Davis said. "This is a result, I believe, of political rhetorical terrorism. That has to stop."
"We have to have unity in this country. We are the United States of America. We are great," Davis said. "We have to bind together as Americans, not as Republicans and Democrats."
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"Many lives would've been lost if not for the heroic actions of the 2 Capitol police officers."
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