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Slain Gunman In GOP Whip's Shooting Posted Anti-Trump Facebook Rants

James T. Hodgkinson James T. Hodgkinson
James T. Hodgkinson Photo Credit: Facebook
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) Photo Credit:
Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field
Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

This story has been updated.

The gunman who shot Congressman and Republic Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday morning has died, President Donald Trump announced.

The gunman has been identified as James. T. Hodgkinson was shot and killed during the incident, which reportedly occurred after 7 a.m. at Alexandria Simpson Baseball Field. NBC News is reporting as many as 50 shots were fired. 

Scalise, who earlier had been classified as being in stable condition, was classified as being in critical condition after surgery for a bullet wound near his hip. Congressional staffer Zach Barth, was also injured. Matt Mika, a Tyson Foods lobbyist who sometimes practices with the team, is in critical condition. Two members of the congressional police force suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The 66-year-old Hodgkinson, who is from the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, was reportedly a volunteer during Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders' campaign and angered by Donald Trump's election as president. Hodgkinson's Facebook page includes anti-Trump rhetoric.

A recent post on his Facebook page reads:  “Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

Hodgkinson also posted that "Republicans are the Taliban of the USA" on social media.

Hodgkinson has a criminal history and was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in 2006, according to court history.

The 51-year-old Scalise, who represents Louisiana, was seen crawling into the outfield after being shot near second base after Hodgkinson began firing from behind a dugout, NBC News reported.

On the Senate floor late Wednesday morning, Bernie Sanders said, "I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society."

House Speaker Paul Ryan received a standing ovation when he told a joint session of Congress, "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."

Ryan also praised the work of the Capitol Police. Because Scalise is a senior member of Congress, they were on hand at the practice. Had they not been there, the attack likely would have resulted in mass casualties.

Trump called Scalise "a very good friend," adding "He's a patriot. And he's a fighter. 

"He will recover from this assault -- and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation, and frankly the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting."

The practice was being held prior to the annual bipartisan Congressional charity baseball game pitting Republicans vs. Democrats scheduled to be played Thursday at the Washington Nationals' baseball park.

Scalise was among those at the Republican practice. The Democrats were also scheduled to hold a practice Wednesday. Congressional leaders announced the game would be played Thursday evening as planned.

This is a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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