On Wednesday morning, a gunman now identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Bellville, Illinois opened fire at a Congressional Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
The 66-year-old Hodgkinson allegedly approached Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) before the shooting. According to Duncan, the shooter asked him in the parking lot whether the team practicing was the Democrat or Republican team. Duncan told Hodgkinson it was the Republican team that was practicing. Hodgkinson then said “okay, thanks” and walked away.
Then, shortly after 7:00 A.M. EST, Hodgkinson unleashed fire on the baseball team, critically injuring House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in the process, who is currently in critical condition after being shot in the hip. The other four people who were shot and hospitalized are Zack Birth, Matt Mika, David Bailey, and Krystal Griner.
James Hodgkinson has died from his injuries sustained during a shootout with police.
The shootout occurred during one of the Republican team practices ahead of the annual Congressional charity baseball game which was scheduled to be played at Nationals park Thursday afternoon. The annual contest has been a tradition among lawmakers since 1909.
Video submitted to the New York Post shows the gunfire and aftermath of the shooting.
CBS News reported that Hodgkinson supported Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2016 Election season. In fact, he had even volunteered for Senator Sanders’ campaign.
Hodgkinson also had a Facebook page which contained posts aimed against Donald Trump. He had recently posted a petition to impeach President Trump along with the statement “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
Also, according to CBS News, the gun used by Hodgkinson was a M4 assault rifle.
Congressman Scalise was fielding balls on second base when he was shot in the hip. After the gunfire subsided, lawmakers dragged Scalise into the outfield in an attempt to get him away from the gunman.
Scalise was then airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital where surgery was performed. He is now out of surgery and in critical condition, however, his office has stated that Scalise was able to speak with his wife on the phone while en route to the hospital. He was reportedly in good spirits.
U.S. Capitol Police were able to respond very quickly to the incident, as Hodgkinson was subdued shortly after he opened fire. The police force has informed the public that the wounded officers are expected to survive.
Both Republicans and Democrats were able to come together as one united party after the incident. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both gave statements on the House floor.
“We are united in our anguish,” Ryan said. He then continued, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Nancy Pelosi added, “Tomorrow we will go out on the field, we’ll root for our team, we want everyone to do his or her very best, and we will use this occasion as one that brings us together and not one that separates us further.” The Congressional baseball game is still scheduled for Thursday afternoon, according to officials.