Wednesday morning’s congressional baseball practice with Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Va., was interrupted when Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and several others were wounded by shooter James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, who volunteered to campaign for former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In a statement, Sanders was quick to reply, “I am sickened by this despicable act . . . Our prayers go out for a full recovery of Rep. Scalise, the congressional aides and police officers who were injured. We’ve got to stop the violence.”
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told NBC that it seemed the gunman “was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.” The shooter was shot during a gunfight with police and has since died. Two Facebook accounts belonging to a “James Hodgkinson” of Belleville, Ind., have links or “likes” to several liberal organizations and posts in opposition to conservative issues and figures, including a post critical of Rep. Scalise.
The FBI is investigating whether the shooting could be considered a form of terrorism. Scalise remains in critical condition.
Despite the tragedy, the bipartisan Congressional Baseball Game, scheduled for June 15 at Nationals Park, went on as planned.
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