“The man suspected of opening fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team early Wednesday morning was distraught over the election of President Trump and traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest, his brother said on Wednesday,” Nicholas Fandos reports for The New York Times. “The suspect, James Thomas Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., died in a Washington hospital after a shootout with the police.”
Hodgkinson showered the field with bullets that struck five people, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives.
“‘I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff,’ his brother, Michael Hodgkinson, said in a telephone interview shortly after he received the news on Wednesday,” Fandos reports. “Social media accounts that appear to be affiliated with Mr. Hodgkinson show a man deeply connected to liberal politics and distrustful of Republican-controlled Washington. In posts, he rails against Republicans, lavishes praise upon Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the one-time presidential candidate, and shows a deep engagement with churn of news coming out of Washington.”
“Mr. Hodgkinson’s Facebook page was filled with references to Mr. Sanders, who lost the Democratic primary nomination to Hillary Clinton but has remained active in calling for Democrats to endorse more progressive policies,” Fandos reports. “In late March, the sheriff responded to a report of man firing dozens of shots near Mr. Hodgkinson’s home. When authorities arrived, they found Mr. Hodgkinson and advised him not to shoot in the area. An incident report indicates that he presented a valid firearms owner identification card.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the shooting via Twitter:
Saddened by the terrifying events in Virginia. Our prayers are with all those affected. Such violence has no place in America – or anywhere.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 14, 2017
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: U.S. President Trump earlier delivered a statement from the White House Diplomatic Room calling for unity after the tragic Virginia shooting this morning:
Transcript of the Statement by President Trump on the Shooting in Virginia:
As you all know, shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning, a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and their staffs as they were practicing for tomorrow’s annual charity baseball game.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime, and the assailant has now died from his injuries. The FBI is leading the investigation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
Congressman Steve Scalise, a member of House leadership, was shot and badly wounded, and is now in stable condition at the hospital, along with two very courageous Capitol Police officers. At least two others were also wounded.
Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.
Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims.
Congressman Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. He’s a patriot and he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault. And, Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation and, frankly, the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.
I spoke with Steve’s wife, Jennifer, and I pledged to her our full and absolute support — anything she needs. We are with her and with the entire Scalise family.
I have also spoken with Chief Matthew Verderosa — he’s doing a fantastic job — of the Capitol Police to express our sympathies for his wounded officers and to express my admiration for their courage. Our brave Capitol Police perform a challenging job with incredible skill, and their sacrifice makes democracy possible.
We also commend the brave first responders from Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue who rushed to the scene. Everyone on that field is a public servant — our courageous police, our congressional aides who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion, and our dedicated members of Congress who represent our people.
We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.
We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.
Please take a moment today to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless them all, God bless you, and God Bless America.