Gunman who shot Republican congressman had history of railing against GOP

16 June, 2017, 06:30 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • FBI Agents work in the parking lot of the YMCA next to the baseball field at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria Va. Thursday the day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot during during a congressional baseball practice

"Those kinds of threats are not going to stop me from doing what our job is, which is to represent the people in south Louisiana and to help address numerous problems that are in government right now that need to be fixed", Graves said.

Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee scored in the first inning, enjoying a different sort of adrenaline than the one he experienced Wednesday when he passed by the shooter over bloodied ground to take shelter in a dugout - confessing later that "the fear factor was horrific".

"I actually left a little early, probably about a couple of minutes before this happened. there was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd, and then he kind of walked toward the area where all this happened", DeSantis said. "It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co.", a post in March purportedly said, according to NPR. On learning this Sanders went to the floor of the Senate and issued a statement that he is "sickened by this despicable act" and condemned the shooting "in the strongest possible terms".

Mark wrote that "the 66-year-old Belleville, Illinois, man owned a home inspection business and appeared to be a fervent supporter of progressive politics and a Trump critic".

"I don't even know who was shot", she said, "I'm sorry that he did this but there's nothing I can do about it". Her husband was at home all day with them, she said, and she thought he might have wanted a break.

Others on the left were likewise quick to blame Trump for inciting violence and are just as quick to denounce any connections between Hodgkinson and left-wing rhetoric.

The FBI said Thursday that it had also processed Hodgkinson's vehicle, a white conversion van, where investigators found a cell phone, a computer and camera.

A search of online newspapers shows that Hodgkinson frequently wrote letters to his local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, which published almost two dozen of them between 2010 and 2012. He had also volunteered on Sander's campaign. Many included complaints about the same theme: income inequality.

He admitted that Hodgkinson, a supporter of Sen. Court records show that his legal trouble started in the 1990s with arrests for resisting police and drunken driving. Though his contacts might now be seen as a warning sign, U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) said he never felt threatened by Hodgkinson.

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Though there are no other legal problems listed in St. Clair County, which includes Belleville, since 2011, Hodgkinson did come to the attention of local law enforcement as recently as March 24.

That's when Bill Schaumleffel recalled hearing shots being fired outside his house, which stands about 500 feet behind Hodgkinson's home.

Not mentioned: That Hodgkinson, according to witnesses, specifically asked whether the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats before getting an assault rifle and firing off some 100 rounds.

When Hodgkinson refused to stop, Schaumleffel called the sheriff's department.

After news of the shooting spread on Wednesday, Scalise received many well wishes from his fellow Congress members on both sides of the aisle.

Before Jody Lee Hunt shot and killed four people including his ex-girlfriend in West Virginia in 2014, the ex-girlfriend had filed domestic violence charges one month earlier.

"I would quote the late, great Michael Jackson", said Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., a close friend of Scalise's and the pitcher on the Democrats' team.

Richer reported from Richmond, Virginia.

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