The growing political violence in America has come to the nation’s capital in the form of a mass shooting that resulted in five people wounded.
The third-highest-ranking House Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), was critically injured after a gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, opened fire at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning. Four others were injured.
Here are five things you should know:
1. Hodgkinson was a member of anti-Republican and anti-Trump groups, according to the newspaper in his hometown, The Bellevue News-Democrat. He belonged to multiple anti-GOP Facebook groups, including ones called “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans,” “Donald Trump is not my President, “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump,” “Boycott the Republican Party,” “Expose Republican Fraud” and “Terminate the Republican Party.” Prior to shooting, he reportedly asked someone if the representatives were Republicans or Democrats.
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2. Hodgkinson was a supporter of U.S. Sen. and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), The New York Times reported. Hodgkinson volunteered for Sanders campaign, according to The Quad-City Times. Sanders on Wednesday said he was “sickened” by the shooter’s actions. “Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said. “Real change can only come about through non-violent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values
3. The shooting could have been much worse if a security detail of U.S. Capitol Police had not intervened. The Capitol Police shot Hodgkinson, who died later. “He was hunting us,” U.S Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Michigan) said of Hodgkinson. Said U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), “the field was basically a killing field — it’s really sick and very sad.”
4. Scalise underwent surgery and was in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the hospital. Scalise serves as the Republican whip, which means he helps pass legislation and tallies how many members of his caucus support important bills.
5. Scalise might have been Hodgkinson’s target. “He shot at Steve Scalise, our second baseman,” U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) told reporters.
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