ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practiced for a charity baseball game Wednesday, wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and hitting an aide, a lobbyist and a Capitol police officer as congressmen and others dove for cover.
The assailant, identified as James Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Belleville, Ill., fought a running gunbattle with police before he, too, was shot and later died.
Hodgkinson had voiced grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP. He had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called Terminate the Republican Party.
Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise’s security detail wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody. He later died of his injuries, Trump told the nation from the White House.
“Everyone on that field is a public servant,” Trump said. “Their sacrifice makes democracy possible.”
Lawmakers noted their good fortune in having armed protectors on hand and said otherwise the shooter would have been able to take a huge deadly toll.
Scalise, 51, was listed in critical condition Wednesday night with a single gunshot wound in the hip. The bullet tore through his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The hospital said he will require several more operations.
Earlier in the day, Scalise’s office said he was in good spirits and spoke with his wife by telephone before undergoing initial surgeries.
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