James Hodgkinson, alleged shooter at House Republicans baseball practice, was outspoken Trump critic
Shooter's social media pages filled with pro-Bernie Sanders rhetoric, anti-Trump vitriol.
James T. Hodgkinson, the man law enforcement officials have identified as the suspected gunman in the early Wednesday morning shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, has died.
In statement from the White House, President Donald Trump said Hodgkinson died of injuries sustained when Scalise’s security detail returned fire.
Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old business owner from Belleville, Illinois, allegedly armed himself with an assault weapon and a handgun and headed to a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, where House Republicans were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game, which is slated for Thursday, and opened fire. At least five people, including Hodgkinson and two Capitol Police officers, were injured before Hodgkinson was taken into custody.
The FBI was already combing through Hodgkinson’s Illinois home by the time his identity was released to the public.
Hodgkinson, who owned a home-inspection business, was an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter, and his social media pages were filled with anti-Trump rhetoric.
Both of his Facebook pages, however, featured the Vermont senator's face prominantly. Neither page was accessible by midday Wednesday.
Though there weren’t any direct threats apparent against any of the Republican legislators involved in Wednesday’s shooting, in 2015 he “liked” a political cartoon that criticized Scalise and suggested he should be fired.
In his last post before the shooting, made on Monday evening, Hodgkinson repeatedly described the president as an “asshole” in reaction to a news article he shared about how Trump invited his Cabinet members to praise him during a meeting.
Most of his other posts also reflected the same anti-Trump sentiments.
Hodgkinson followed many left-leaning media outlets and activist groups on Facebook, and he signed and shared a number of progressive online petitions.
Sanders issued a statement condemning the shooter's actions and took to the Senate floor to pronounce his disgust.
"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, according to CNN. "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."