Gunman opens fire on politicians
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.
rep. Steve Scalise