President Donald Trump addressed the attack on a group of Republican politicians practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game, saying the assailant has died because of injuries suffered during the shooting.
Authorities have identified the suspected shooter at the GOP Congressional baseball practice on Wednesday morning as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old from Belleville, Illinois, the Washington Post reported. It was unknown that he died before the president announced the latest update. Early reports suggest the shooter might have been a Bernie Sanders supporter.
“Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime and the assailant has now died from his injuries. The FBI is leading the investigation and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available,” Trump said.
Hodgkinson opened fire with a rifle, striking House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. He was shot by Capitol Hill police who were on hand as part of Scalise’s security detail.
“Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol police officers, who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault,” Trump said.
Trump called Scalise as “friend,” “patriot” and “fighter” who has the prays of the entire nation behind him.
“America is praying for you and praying for all the victims of this terrible shooting,” Trump said.
Scalise and several other GOP leaders and staff fembers were practicing for a bipartisan Congressional baseball game scheduled for Thursday evening. The lighthearted game is an annual tradition between the GOP and Democrats that raises money for local charities. The team was taking batting practice when the shooting began.
“We may have our differences but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country,” Trump said. “Our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.”
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