Washington DC: The GOP baseball practice shooting suspect has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. The 66-year old man is a longtime Republican hater and Bernie Sanders supporter who registered to campaign for the Vermont Senator during his long election campaign to win Democratic nomination.
The GOP baseball shooting suspect, who has been expressing his frustration over President Donald Trump’s policies through his Facebook pages drove all the way from Chicago to Alexandria, a Washington DC suburb and then ensured that the people practicing baseball were Republicans and not Democrats. The people who were injured in the senseless attack included a Republican lawmaker, staffer and two Capitol Police officers as the shooter opened fire at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.
Thankfully, the people who were shot by Alexandria, VA shooting suspect, didn’t face life threatening injuries. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was in stable condition despite being shot in the hip during the baseball practice. Zack Barth, a legislative correspondent in U.S. Rep. Roger Williams’, R-Texas, office, also received gunshot wound.
It is now pretty clear that GOP baseball shooter was anti-Republican. The Belleville News-Democrat says that the 66-year old shooter who is married with a daughter and grandchildren was a member of various anti-Republican groups on Facebook, including one entitled “Terminate the Republican Party.” The man was also associated with multiple groups on social media named like “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans;” “Donald Trump is not my President;” “President Bernie Sanders;” “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump;” “Boycott the Republican Party;” and “Expose Republican Fraud”.
Reports suggest that the Alexandria shooting suspect campaigned for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Iowa. Charles Orear, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, told the Washington Post that he became friendly with Hodgkinson while working together in Iowa on Sanders’ 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. Orear told the newspaper that Hodgkinson was an outspoken progressive, but showed no signs of violence.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…I met him on the Bernie trail in Iowa, worked with him in the Quad Cities area”, Orear said adding that he cannot believe in such reports of violence coming from him. James T. Hodgkinson Facebook page was later inaccessible to unknown reason, though initially we were able to access it.
On the other hand, Senders condemned the shooting saying, “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 non-violent action and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.”
Reports suggest that the shooter used to practice regularly in woods near home. He was asked to stop shooting in the woods when his neighbors complained about it. Neighbors told the St. Clair County Sheriff that they heard about 50 shots fired in some trees near the suspect’s home on March 24, the newspaper reported. Law enforcement officials told Hodgkinson, who had a valid firearms owner’s ID, not to shoot there.
James T. Hodgkinson criminal offenses as far as past charges are concerned, are not very serious. He was charged in April 2006 with battery and aiding damage to a motor vehicle in St. Clair County, Illinois, the Washington Post reported. The charges were dismissed. He also faced a few charges of failing to obtain electrical permits, resisting a police officer, eluding police, critical damage to property etc, but not killing or abduction.