Suspected gunman in shooting of US Congressman, shocks those who knew him

The opposing sides were paying tribute to Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip who was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice in Virginia on Wednesday.

The vice president also sought prayers for Rep. Steve Scalise and a Capitol Police officer who was shot Wednesday while defending Scalise and Republican colleagues from a shooter as they practiced for an annual charity baseball game Thursday night.

The 66-year-old gunman was identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, an ardent supporter of left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders - who said he was "sickened" by what he called a "despicable act".

James Hodgkinson, whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified as the man who opened fire on Congress members and staffers at a GOP baseball practice Wednesday morning, was a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump, according to initial accounts and a review of his social media profiles. Democrats eventually won the game 11-2.

Alexandria police chief Michael Brown said his officers arrived at the scene within three minutes, engaged the suspect together with Capitol Police officers, and took him into custody.

The morning after visiting Scalise in the hospital, Trump said the congressman's challenges are "more difficult" than first thought. "We're united not as Republicans and Democrats, but as United States Representatives", Barton said during a briefing on Wednesday.

The mood at the Capitol remained somber Thursday, as members learned more about Scalise's condition and signed giant "get well" posters for him and others injured.

The Capitol Police Memorial Fund was added as one of the charities that will benefit from the event, the game announced.

"I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign", Sanders said.

It didn't take long for battle lines to be drawn and blame to be cast following the Wednesday shooting at the Congressional Republicans' baseball practice.

The annual charity game, a tradition since 1909, was held this year at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

"I mean it was loud and I knew it was a high-powered rifle", Schaumleffel said. "There was a lot of camaraderie", Aguilar said.

"He is a very thoughtful, fun-loving person who is competitive and loyal; all things which contributed to his continued commitment to the Congressional Baseball Game". Over social media he had lashed out at President Donald Trump and the GOP.

Congressman Scalise was operated on.

"I am quite comfortable holding town hall-type events with 50, 100, 150, 200 citizens, provided there is the kind of security that is needed to minimize the risk of loss of life to the town hall attendees", Brooks said.

  • Leroy Wright