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Slain Gunman In Congressional Shooting Posted Anti-Trump Facebook Rants

James T. Hodgkinson
James T. Hodgkinson Photo Credit: Facebook
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) Photo Credit: scalise.house.gov
Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field
Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

The gunman who shot U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican Majority Whip, and four others at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., was reportedly a volunteer for Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders' campaign and was angered by Donald Trump's election as president.

The Facebook page for James. T. Hodgkinson, who died of his injuries, includes anti-Trump rhetoric.

His attack began just after 7 a.m. at Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field and he fired as many as 50 shots fired, NBC News said.

Scalise was listed in critical condition after surgery for a gunshot wound near his hip. Congressional staffer Zach Barth was also injured. Matt Mika, a Tyson Foods lobbyist who sometimes practices with the team, was in critical condition. Two members of the congressional police force suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The 66-year-old Hodgkinson is from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Ill.

A recent post on his Facebook page says:  “Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Hodgkinson also posted that "Republicans are the Taliban of the USA" on social media.

Hodgkinson has a criminal history and was arrested on charges of assaulting his girlfriend in 2006, according to court history.

On the Senate floor late Wednesday morning, Sanders said, "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."

House Speaker Paul Ryan received a standing ovation when he told a joint session of Congress, "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

Ryan also praised the work of the Capitol Police. Because Scalise is a senior member of Congress, they were on hand at the practice. Had they not been there, the attack likely would have resulted in mass casualties, Ryan said.

Trump called Scalise "a very good friend," adding "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."

The practice was for the annual bipartisan Congressional charity baseball game pitting Republicans vs. Democrats. The game is scheduled to be played Thursday at the Washington Nationals' baseball park.

Congressional leaders announced the game would be played Thursday evening as planned.

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