Five were injured, including a GOP congressman, during a shooting in Virginia. The perpetrator attended a charity baseball game set up by congressional Republicans, where he opened fire and injured the House majority whip, Representative Steve Scalise.
In an official remark this morning, President Donald Trump said that the Police confirmed the gunman also fired shots at officers, who returned fire. The suspect later died.
The office of Representative Scalise said that he had been shot in the hip and has had surgery. He is now recovering and in a stable condition. In their official statement, his office said that before going into surgery, he was in good spirits and spoke to his wife over the phone. He is grateful, they said, for the actions taken by the Capitol Police, his colleagues, and first responders.
The shooting occurred in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, at around 7am, just seven miles from the White House. Lawmakers were gathering at a baseball pitch to practice for a charity baseball game to take place on Thursday. Republicans were practicing at the time, and Democrats had practiced together earlier that morning.
A legislative correspondent called Zack Barth, who worked for Representative Roger Williams, was also shot. Representative Williams released a statement explaining that his correspondent is currently being treated for a gunshot wound, but that is expected to make a complete recovery.
Who is the Shooter?
The shooter has been identified as 66-year-old James T, Hodgkinson, from Belleville Illinois. Hodgkinson is the owner of a home inspection company, and a social media search has revealed he was a staunch supporter of the Democrats. Specifically, a Facebook account in James T. Hodgkinson’s name reveals that he was a supporter of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. His main profile picture supports “democratic socialism” and his profile cover image is a photograph of Bernie Sanders.
It is believed this is his real Facebook page, as it contains accurate information about his home town and name, and has been active for many years. In March, Hodgkinson posted that he believes Trump is a traitor who destroyed democracy. He went on to say that it is “time to destroy Trump & co.”
A Twitter profile, with the handle @JTHInspections, has been identified as belonging to the gunman, too. The profile was used infrequently, but was used largely to make political points, with tweets supporting Bernie Sanders and attacking Donald Trump.
Also among those shot was Matt Mika, a lobbyist from Tyson Foods. A statement from a Tyson Foods spokesperson said that Mika, who serves as their director of government relations, has been hospitalized. The spokesperson was still waiting to hear about his condition at the time of the statement, but they did confirm that he has worked for the company for over six years, and that his colleagues are deeply concerned about his condition and his family.
Two Capitol Police officers were also injured as they attempted to take down the shooter.
Witness Representative Mo Brooks, from Alabama, told CNN that he heard a loud gunshot during his batting practice. He was located on the third base, and as he turned around, he saw a rifle and a body. He also said that he heard Steve Scalise scream, who was located on the second base. Scalise had been shot. Brooks then removed his belt to use as a tourniquet, to stop Scalise from bleeding heavily. He also said that he believed between 50 and 100 shots were fired overall.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was in the batting cage when the attack happened. He told ABC News that a “burst of gunfire” was heard shortly after the first shot, which resulted in everybody dropping to the ground.