WASHINGTON: A rifle-toting US man opened fire Wednesday at about two dozen Republican lawmakers and staff holding a baseball practice ahead of a charity game, shooting a top Republican congressman and three others in a hail of bullets.
The shooter — identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, an apparent supporter of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders angry over President Donald Trump’s election — later died of his injuries in a shootout with police.
Here’s what we know about the shooting:
Republican lawmakers were practicing at a baseball field in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia ahead of Thursday night’s annual charity game against their Democratic counterparts when Hodgkinson fired a volley of shots.
Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the party’s number three in the House of Representatives, suffered a hip injury in the early morning ambush.
Capitol police who were on security duty returned fire, as did Alexandria police who rushed to the scene. The suspect was apprehended, and the wounded were taken to area hospitals.
Who was wounded?
Four people suffered gunshot wounds, according to the FBI:
* Scalise. After surgery at a Washington hospital, he was listed in critical condition.
* Zachary Barth, an aide to Representative Roger Williams
* Tyson Foods lobbyist and former congressional staffer Matt Mika, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was in critical condition
* One Capitol Police officer, Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle
A second Capitol Police officer and a congressman suffered minor, non-gunshot injuries.
Who was the shooter?
Hodgkinson, who appears to have been the owner of a home inspection business, was a strong supporter of Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Sanders said he was “sickened” by the attack.
The shooter hailed from Belleville, Illinois, though the FBI said he had been living out of his car in Alexandria since March.
Hodgkinson’s social media posts displayed strong anti-Trump sentiment.
His brother Michael told The New York Times that “he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff.”
He was armed with a rifle and a handgun, FBI special agent Tim Slater told reporters. Authorities searched his car, a white cargo van, and his Illinois residence.
Trump called for national unity in the wake of the shooting, as did House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
All votes in the House of Representatives were cancelled for Wednesday.
The annual congressional baseball game will go on as planned Thursday night at Nationals Park in the US capital.