Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

FBI investigates Scalise shooter's social media posts

The alleged rifle-wielding gunman that went on a shooting spree at a congressional baseball practice that wounded GOP congressman Steve Scalise Wednesday morning was an open supporter of Bernie Sanders, according to his social media sites.

Bernie Sanders stood on the floor of the Senate Wednesday and made a statement after learning James Hodgkinson, the man who opened fire on a congressional baseball practice, "apparently" worked on his campaign. Sanders said he denounced the violence "in the strongest possible terms".

Capitol Police said officers who were part of Scalise's security detail returned fire and wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody.

In his speech, Sanders said real change "can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values". Court records show that his legal trouble started in the 1990s with arrests for resisting police and drunken driving.

Bernie Sanders says he is 'sickened by this despicable act'
He died from injuries sustained in a shoot-out with Capitol Hill police who were at the scene in Alexandria, Virginia. The man calmly asked which party's lawmakers were practicing and Duncan told him they were the Republicans.

The incident in March was not Hodgkinson's first run-in with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.

Their reports found that a web page on Yelp indicates that Hodgkinson had been doing home inspections since 1994 and had 30 years experience in construction and remodeling as a general contractor, and that he worked in both Missouri and IL.

In a press conference, Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Timothy Slater said that Hodgkinson's van, a white cargo wan, was located shortly after the shooting took place. Witnesses say that they saw Scalise inch into right field with a trail of blood behind him. He is a member of Facebook groups including "Liberal Democratic Socialist Party", "I Hate Donald Trump", and "Terminate The Republican Party".

Two police officers, a congressional aide and a lobbyist were also shot.

Trump decries shooting of top Congressman
FBI investigators said they are now examining the possibility that the motive for the shooting was political. The president and first lady Melania Trump spent about half an hour at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

The Belleville News-Democrat newspaper posted a photograph of Hodgkinson protesting outside a post office in 2012, wearing sunglasses and a goatee and holding a placard that read "TAX the Rich".

The shooter, who was killed after his gun rampage in the USA state of Virginia, has been identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, of IL, who had posted a number of abusive anti-Trump rants on social media. MedStar Washington said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that Rep. Steve Scalise "was critically injured ad remains in critical condition". Sanders said Hodgkinson apparently volunteered on his presidential campaign. "It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co", Hodgkinson allegedly wrote. He says they shared some friends, but weren't close.

Authorities are now at the suspect's home in Belleville, Illinois. "We try to make sure people are reasonable when doing this". He ignored a reporter's attempt to ask him questions, walking briskly out of the Capitol after a vote.

Investigators blanket the area of a morning shooting outside Eugene Simpson Stadium Park June 14, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia.

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