Gun­man opens fire on politi­cians

StarMetro Toronto - - WORLD -

A ri­fle-wield­ing at­tacker opened fire on Repub­li­can law­mak­ers at a con­gres­sional base­ball prac­tice Wed­nes­day, wound­ing House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and sev­eral oth­ers as con­gress­men and aides dove for cover.

The as­sailant, pre­pared with “a lot of ammo,” fought a gun bat­tle with po­lice be­fore he, too, was shot and later died. Col­leagues said Scalise dragged him­self away from the in­field leav­ing a trail of blood as they rushed to his as­sis­tance.

He was taken to a hos­pi­tal where he un­der­went surgery and was listed in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. His of­fice said that be­fore surgery for a wound in his hip he was in good spir­its.

The shooter was iden­ti­fied as James T. Hodgkin­son, a 66-yearold home in­spec­tor from Illi­nois who had sev­eral mi­nor run-ins with the law in re­cent years and be­longed to a Face­book group called “Ter­mi­nate the Repub­li­can Party.”

Shortly af­ter the shoot­ing, Bernie San­ders, the for­mer candidate for the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, said on the Se­nate floor that the shooter ap­par­ently was a vol­un­teer for his cam­paign last year. San­ders de­nounced the vi­o­lence “in the strong­est pos­si­ble terms.”

Capi­tol Po­lice of­fi­cers who

was shot Wed­nes­day and is listed in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. were in Scalise’s se­cu­rity de­tail wounded the shooter, who was taken into cus­tody and later died of his in­juries, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump told the na­tion from the White House, adding: “Ev­ery­one on that field is a pub­lic ser­vant — their sac­ri­fice makes democ­racy pos­si­ble.”

Scalise, 51, the No. 3 House Repub­li­can leader, was first elected to the House in 2008.

The pop­u­lar and gre­gar­i­ous law­maker is known for his love of base­ball and handed out com­mem­o­ra­tive bats when he se­cured the No. 3 job of House whip sev­eral years ago. Two Capi­tol Po­lice of­fi­cers were also in­jured but were ex­pected to re­cover, along with a for­mer con­gres­sional aide who was hos­pi­tal­ized.

Getty ImaGes

rep. Steve Scalise

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