The shooting incident in Alexandria, Virginia has created rippled across the nation. The incident has been condemned by leaders of almost all the political backgrounds including Sen Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump.
The shooter has been identified and named by the authorities as he was injured in the exchange of fire with two police officials who were present at the Republican members of the Congress practiced baseball in a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
A report in the Washington Post said that the shooter who injured at least five people was shot by police at the scene. The shooter identified later as 66-year old James T. Hodgkinson died at a local hospital.
Reports suggest that several lawmakers and their staffers had gathered early morning for a baseball practice game in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside the capital city when the lone gunman, after reportedly inquiring whether those on the field were Republicans or Democrats, began shooting at those at the practice. Representative Steve Scalise, the third ranking Republican in the House who is also the majority whip, was hit in the hip. Several others, including a police officer from the small posse protecting him, were injured before the suspect was shot, brought down, and taken into custody. He was later reported to have died from injuries.
51-year old Scalise is the House of Representatives Majority Whip and representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district, serving since 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party and was the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. Prior to his congressional tenure, Scalise served for four months in the Louisiana State Senate and twelve years in the Louisiana House of Representatives. On June 19, 2014, Scalise was elected by his Republican colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. He assumed office on August 1. He is the first Louisianian in the Majority Whip’s position since Democrat Hale Boggs of Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district held the position from 1962 to 1971. In 2017, Scalise became the dean of the Louisiana Congressional delegation upon the retirement of former senator David Vitter.
The FBI is taking a close look at the shooter’s social media pages. The shooter’s Facebook page has a banner image of Senator Bernie Sanders and a profile picture about Democratic Socialism. In a Facebook post he said “I Want to Say Mr. President, for being an ass hole you are Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.” Merely a few days ago he wrote on his same Facebook page, “Make America Great Again, Resign!,” along with a meme of Trump with the words, “All in all it’s just another prick in the wall.” He also wrote, “Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason” and “Trump is a Mean, Disgusting Person.”
He belonged to Belleville, Illinois and was one of three siblings graduated from Belleville Township High School, where he was on the wrestling and track teams. Later he joined Belleville Area College. The same college is now known as Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Later he studied aviation at Belleville Area College in 1969, before transferring in 1971 to Southwestern Illinois. Hodgkinson was married to Suzanne Hodgkinson, according to KMOV-TV. He also has a daughter and grandchildren, according to his wife’s Facebook page. The couple raised several foster children, friends said.