Alexandria, VA - Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and two Capitol police officers were shot Wednesday morning by James Hodgkinson while at a congressional baseball game practice, according to Fox News. At least one of his aides was also shot, according to 11Alive.
The shooter, James Hodgkinson, died of lead poisoning after the injured officers returned fire.
Now that Hodgkinson, 66, is from Belleville, Illinois, has been identified, we've been digging into his past to find out what may have motivated the attack, and his motives seem apparent.
James Hodgkinson Was A Bernie Bro
Hodgkinson's Facebook page is littered with support for Bernie Sanders, even well after the election.
“Bernie is the Only Candidate in Decades that Really Cares about the Working Class. … Bernie is a Candidate of a Lifetime. We Need Bernie in the White House. Bernie is the Only Candidate Talking about the Issues.”
After Wednesday's attack, Bernie Sanders confirmed that Hodgkinson worked on his campaign. Sanders issued the following statement:
"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.
"My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm."
His Facebook page shows a history of posting several times a day, and almost every post is political in nature. Most of the posts tend to focus on economic policy in-line with what Bernie Sanders promotes.
Despite having over 390 friends, almost none of them engaged with any of his posts. It appears that his thousands of political posts and shares were falling on deaf ears as his friends ignored his political rants.
Among his posts are numerous fake news articles and fake quotes which push a far-left position.
James Hodgkinson Hated Republicans
Among the mass of political posts are rants which Hodgkinson made about Republicans:
“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
"Republicans Hate Women, Minorities, Working Class People, & Most All (99%) of the People of the Country."
"Republicans are the Worst Group of People to Ever Govern the USA. They Hate 99% of All Americans & Yet some Ignorant Country Bumpkins Still Vote for Them. They Haven't Helped anyone But the Top 1% for Decades!"
"Republicans are so Stupid, if they had a Brain, They'd Take it out & Play with It."
No Evidence That Hodgkinson Was Anti-Gun
Despite thousands of political posts, very few of James Hodgkinson's posts appear to deal with guns, even indirectly. There was one post where he appeared to be attacking Hillary Clinton for attacking Bernie Sander's refusal to implement gun-control laws.
James Hodgkinson's Criminal History
There isn't a lot of information on James Hodgkinson's criminal history. Washington Post reports that he was charged in 2006 with Battery and Aiding Damage To a Vehicle, but it appears that those charges were later dropped.
What We Know About The Attack
The incident occurred just after 7:00 AM on East Monroe Street in Del Ray, near a YMCA, when Hodgkinson began firing with a semi-automatic rifle from behind third base. Representative Scalise, who is also the House Majority Whip, was near second base when he was shot in the hip, and the aide was shot in the chest.
Two Capitol Police Officers were shot and were instrumental in winning the gunfight.
“We were like sitting ducks,” Senator Rand Paul, told Fox News. “Without the Capitol Hill police it would have been a massacre.”
“We had nothing but baseball bats to fight back against a rifle with,” Rep. Mo Brooks told CNN. ” And I tell you, those two security details, those two Capitol police officers, they showed incredible bravery — pistols against a rifle — from a 90- to 120-feet distance. As you know, that kind of distance heavily favors the rifle. ”
As many as five people including the shooter were shot as the gunfight erupted between the shooter, Capitol police, and the security detail for the Congressmen. Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, said he was hiding behind a plastic barrier used to protect people from foul balls. He said that he rushed to a dugout to help a staffer, and used his belt as a tourniquet for the staffer, who had been shot in the calf.
The Congressional Baseball game was scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park, according to The New York Daily News.
It is reported that an unknown staffer used a belt as a tourniquet on Representative Steve Scalise's wound to stop the bleeding. Scalise is described as laying by himself for at least 10 minutes as others were pinned down during the shooting.
The gunfight is estimated to have lasted 10 minutes.
In a tweet, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were aware of the situation, and “Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected.”
President Trump issued a statement which said, "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders and all others affected."
UPDATE: Rep. Scalise is in critical condition and cell phone video from the baseball shooting has been released.
This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of Blue Lives Matter posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.